With a provincial budget coming on Tuesday, Catherine Stevens has a request of Premier Stephen McNeil’s government.

“I just want to feed my kid,” she said. “I just want enough food for myself and my child. I’m not asking for much, just enough. We’re people, too. We have a right to these things but it’s not happening. It’s getting worse.”

She’s on income assistance but the $570 per month allowance for rent leaves her about $200 short of the actual bill for shelter. As a single mom, she has to use her baby bonus to make up the difference. She gets $275 in assistance to cover everything else for the month.

She says the hardest part of the struggle is related to food.

The proportion of Aboriginal people who are homeless in Metro Vancouver has hit a record high, according to a new Aboriginal homeless report.

The report, which is based on the 2017 homeless count in Metro, found First Nations people were overrepresented among the homeless population, accounting for 34 per cent of the homeless in the region, despite making up 2.5 per cent of the population.

“This 2017 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver underscores what we already know: that Aboriginal people are disproportionately affected by homelessness, and that fewer of them are accessing shelter,” said David Wells, chairman of the Aboriginal Homelessness Steering Committee (AHSC).

More people are accessing shelters in Ontario than they were five years ago, but with more facilities closing their doors the remaining shelters are overflowing.

In 2016, the province had 310 shelters in operation, 30 less than in 2011, according to Statistics Canada.

The closures amounted to the loss of an estimated 1,000 shelter beds — a sizable chunk of the now-existing 11,000 places.

It is unknown what prompted the closures.

The new B.C. government’s budget 2017 update includes measures that make life more affordable for those who depend on temporary and disability income assistance, the province’s social safety nets.

This October, temporary income and disability income rates increase by $100 per month. The maximum temporary assistance will now be $710, and for disability assistance $1,133 per month. These rate increases provide an immediate benefit to about 190,000 British Columbians.

The $100 monthly enhancement to disability assistance is additional to a $50-per-month increase the previous government announced, which took effect in April 2017. This means that over the past six months, the maximum amount for disability assistance in the province has gone from $983 to $1,033 to $1,133 per month.

Hi everyone. Thanks so much for coming out to say WE NEED A MANSION TAX!

We’ve been working on this policy a lot lately and the more I think about it the more I like it and the more I realize it’s absolutely necessary.

We’re in the middle of a real crisis. Over 2,000 people in Vancouver are homeless and, dying at half the age of other folks.

The average 1 bedroom apartment rents at over $2,000 a month – or more than what someone working full-time at the minimum wage earns.

What a difference six months makes. The political landscape is barely recognisable from the day Theresa May stood in Downing Street to announce a snap general election. The pundits expected a Tory landslide. The election would strengthen the government’s hand in the Brexit negotiations and stabilise the country, they agreed. Labour faced oblivion.

The country thought otherwise. May’s claim to be “strong and stable” went from mantra to millstone. The Tories were found wanting on all of the big issues facing our country. Her government was shown to be strong only against the weak, unwilling to stand up to the powerful and the elite.

During the recent annual Labour Day celebrations in Amherst, a provincial union leader issued a challenge to town officials to bring some pressure to bear upon the McNeil Liberal Government to increase the province’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Lawrence McKay of the United Steelworkers of America contends that too many Nova Scotians are living in poverty because they simply can’t make ends meet on the current minimum wage. He’s suggesting the town could set an example for other communities by supporting a resolution calling on the province to hike the minimum wage to the $15 level.