Changes the Clown is part of a local awareness campaign known as Clowns Against Child Poverty. Central to the Clowns Against Child Poverty message is the recognition that child poverty is not a reflection of economic conditions, but instead, a matter of policy choices and public priorities. Changes the Clown himself is a social scientist. Changes has one PhD in developmental psychology from the University of Waterloo (under the pseudonym Rob Duncan, 51) and is currently working part-time on a second PhD in political sociology at the University of Victoria.
Why should I vote for you?
One in five children and one in two – that’s right, half – of children of single mothers live in poverty in Victoria, and Changes the Clown wants people to join him in calling for something to be done about that. The provincial government continues to stubbornly ignore this glaring social crisis, year after year. Changes believes that, as the capital city of the province with the highest rate of child poverty in the country for nine of the last 10 years, the City of Victoria should demonstrate how this unacknowledged social crisis can be addressed at the municipal level, despite the fact that it formally falls under provincial and not municipal jurisdiction.
Your main goal if elected?
The two main planks of Changes’ election platform address this crisis of child poverty in our community. The first of these is an affordable childcare program at $10/day, to be subsidized by the city. The City of Vancouver recently announced $30 million in funding for the new affordable childcare spaces at the municipal level, providing a clear precedent for initiatives of this kind. Changes’ second main platform plank is a living wage policy similar to the one that’s been in place in the City of New Westminster since 2010. B.C.’s minimum wage is only 54 per cent of the living wage for Victoria. A full-time minimum wage worker makes just over $1600 a month, and when we consider that the cost of full-time childcare starts around $800 month, it becomes clear why it is not possible for most single mothers to work, resulting in a simply astounding poverty rate of one in two children with single mothers.