Interim B.C. Green Party leader Chris Bennett is challenging the NDP and Liberal MLAs to spend 48 hours living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

He hopes the challenge will draw attention to the issue of poverty in Canada’s poorest postal code.

“I want both parties to show some commitment,” said Bennet, whose party doesn’t hold a legislative seat.


One NDP leader said its already been done, but is willing to listen to concerns.

NDP health critic Adrian Dix said it’s important to draw attention to poverty, but the issue isn’t about them.

“We’re always up for a challenge — when it’s put to us in person and not through a newspaper,” said Dix.

“We fight for the issue everyday, not just 48 hours, and our initiatives prove it.” Dix also said the challenge isn’t new.

In 1986, the late MLA Emery Barnes forwent his salary and lived on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside on $6 a day for seven weeks. Barnes, a former B.C. Lion, was penniless after 22 days and lost 15 pounds.

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