Children deserve more support

NANAIMO – Provincial and federal governments have a lot to answer for their inaction on fighting child poverty

To the Editor,

We are in another Christmas season, a time of giving and receiving.

Nanaimo and area citizens are a generous lot. We give time, money and energy for our community. We help out those less fortunate.

However as Canadians, we have a serious problem on our hands. Or to put it bluntly, our provincial and federal governments have a lot to answer for their inaction on fighting child poverty in our country.

Nelson Mandela said, “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”

Our governments have been talking about poverty in this country for decades and doing little about it.

In 1989 the House of Commons passed an all-party, unanimous resolution promising to wipe out child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. How has that worked out?

A United Nations Human Development Report noted that out of 26 developed countries, Canada placed 22nd (12.8 per cent) for the percentage of the population living below the poverty line from 1990 to 2000. Slovakia was best at 2.1 per cent.

In a 2007 report of 25 countries, 18 had lower rates of child poverty than Canada. How’s that for a country with the eighth highest GDP per capita?

We need to put pressure on our provincial and federal governments to develop policies to reduce child poverty in Canada.

Currently, we have deliberate government policies to not address these issues.

Tax monies are diverted to economic development on the assumption that this will increase employment in B.C. and Canada. We then encourage temporary workers to come into the country to take jobs that should be provided to Canadians who would have been given opportunities for skill development.

What is it with us as Canadians?  We don’t want to complain and take a stand? Pressure needs to be applied to governments to follow better practices available around the world.

Are we going to continue to be nice while governments continue to deliberately maintain poverty in Canada?

Demand of the government, your MP and MLA that action be taken.

Nelson Allen


Nanaimo News Bulletin