Standing by record sparks response

Resident concerned by comments made by local member of Parliament

This is in response to the “MP stands by government record” article in the Jan. 5 Morning Star.

Mr. Mayes’ attitude throughout the article was thinly veiled by the pseudo facts presented. The suggestion that the child tax credit was paying for college, piano lessons or child care is rather absurd. Although this may be the experience of a few, most families rely on those cheques as supplementary income given that the cost of living has out-paced wages consistently since the mid-1990s.

By and large, this cheque is used to replace shoes and book bags, and used to finance a small birthday party and the like.

True, Canada’s senior population does well in comparison to some other countries but there are many seniors who cash their OAS cheques at loan stores and will be in that debt circle indefinitely. In his summation of seniors’ wealth, Mr. Mayes likely included those who have turned 65 and are still working. Therefore, he has altered the facts ignoring those seniors, mostly women, who do struggle to afford shelter and food.

In his attempt to soften the sad issue of child poverty in Canada, he threw Africa under the bus. For shame. How dare he invoke the image of the poor and needy in Africa, of whom we are all compassionately aware, to shore up his position. We are not doing all that great.

According to the report card on child poverty issued by UNICEF, 14 per cent of our children are still living in poverty today. There are many recommendations on that site to the government of Canada to help with this pressing issue. Has the government even seen them?

While Mr. Mayes is adamant that First Nations people are on his list, another government study on skills training is the last thing they and we need. Stop the expensive little focus groups and put those funds towards skills training.

Quoting Abraham Lincoln was not only odd, but rather alarming. The lecture that parents should be responsible for the care and feeding of their children is stating the obvious. However, I challenge Mr. Mayes to feed a family of four on two part-time, low-paying jobs as many parents struggle to do. The term working poor should not even exist in a country that has the financial resources this government claims to have. They are predicting a surplus budget for the end of this year.

We have watched the dissolution of the Senate begin to play out under the Harper government and the very integrity of the PMO has been called into question. So, are we to be placated with the publishing of MP expenses, which should have been done all along?

Are we to agree to corporations getting lower taxes while our personal resources go down? Are we not tired of being chastised on the evening news because we carry too much household debt? Yet, our federal government has misplaced $3.1 billion of our tax dollars. It is technically in debt to us.

There is not a lack of funds in this country of ours. It is the lack of thoughtful and careful distribution. It is the wages not keeping pace with the cost of living.

What can we expect when we are being governed by those who feel quoting the long dead leader of another country solidifies their opinion, and are using the plight of starving children from afar to attempt to shore up a weakly supported point.


Christina Roeters



Vernon Morning Star