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RADIA: Remarks were poorly worded
Let’s face it: politics is a tough way to make a living.
Our MLAs and MPs constantly have microphones and cameras shoved into their faces and are expected to come up with learned responses to virtually any topic.
And sometimes — like we all do — they say dumb things.
Such was the case with Port Moody–Westwood-Port Coquitlam MP James Moore last month when, in an interview with Vancouver’s News1130, he seemed to suggest that child poverty was not Ottawa’s problem.
“Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so,” he was quoted as saying.
Moore later apologized — unequivocally — saying that “all levels of government… have a responsibility to be compassionate and care for those in need.”
Unfortunately, the anti-Harperites have chosen to pile-on Moore.
Some, like my colleague opposite, are shamelessly spinning Moore’s quote as some sort of proof that all conservatives are evil and insensitive to the plight of the less fortunate. Jim is tugging at your heart strings asking how could someone say such a thing during the holidays.
Oh the insanity!
I won’t defend what Moore said — he knows the political game as well as anyone and should have chosen his words a little more wisely.
But let’s get a little perspective here.
Let’s remember that child poverty and the majority of the programs to alleviate it are a provincial responsibility.
And Moore did say that the federal government has worked towards “empowering families with more power and resources.”
Facilitating a strong economy so that people have good-paying jobs and money to feed their children is the best social policy out there. And, on that front, the Tories have delivered.
We have one of the strongest economies in the developed world: Team Harper has the best job creation record in the G-7 since the recession. The feds also continue to transfer $12 billion a year to the provinces under the Canada Social Transfer and have just earmarked $1.25 billion towards affordable housing.
The left wants handouts and short-term band-aid solutions. Ultimately, however, jobs are the most effective way to get families out of poverty. And that’s what the Harper government has focused on.
I just wish Moore had said it that way in the first place.