Make Poverty History Manitoba rallied at the Manitoba Legislature on Friday to demand that the provincial government increase the rental allowance that is provided to recipients of provincial Employment and Income Assistance (EIA). Recalling the kindness of a Winnipeg Transit driver who gave a homeless man a pair of shoes, demonstrators left dozens of pairs of shoes on the steps of the Legislature to send the message that they no longer wish to depend on isolated, random acts of kindness.
EIA recipients are provided with a rental allowance that has increased only slightly over the past two decades. During that same period, rents have gone up by 60 to 70%.
According to Kirsten Bernas, Make Poverty History Manitoba is asking the Province to increase the rental allowance to 75% of median market rent, a move the provincial government estimates would cost approximately $18.5 million annually.
In this video report, Ms.Bernas explains why this increase is long overdue.