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January 31, 2007

The Toronto Star's Call to Action on Poverty

SimplefairnessEven though The Toronto Star is writing specifically about the situation in Toronto (and, more generally, in Ontario), every Canadian needs to hear this call to action -- and every Canadian needs to note the long-term fallout that comes from asking the least fortunate citizens to subsidize tax cuts to the wealthy (particularly now that some of the architects of the so-called Common-Sense Revolution have hung out their "Tax Cut" shingles on Parliament Hill).

Here's what The Toronto Star had to say in its call to action on today's editorial page:

"Our supermarket shelves are packed with goods from the far corners of the world. Fresh local and exotic fruit, vegetables and meat are all widely available, regardless of the season. But this bounty isn't for everyone – especially not for those who depend on social assistance. Once rent is paid, and other basics are covered, many cannot afford a balanced diet....The province's poor have never recovered [from former premier Mike Harris 21 percent cuts to welfare rates]. Increasing welfare rates to the point where the poor can afford nutritious meals would make a good start. So would another measure urged by the Toronto board of health: boosting Ontario's minimum wage to $10 to help the working poor. Concern for the needy is rising in Toronto and across the province. And with good reason. Queen's Park must act."

Related:
Mike Harris' speech to the Empire Club, spelling out his vision for the Common Sense Revolution
These days some of the architects of the Common-Sense Revolution are holding down key positions in the Harper Cabinet: John Baird (Environment), Tony Clement (Health), Jim Flaherty (Finance Minister and Minister Responsible for the GTA).

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Comments

Wayne, I just read your most recent post about poverty in Peterborough: http://socialjusticealiberalview.blogspot.com/2007/02/social-justice-is-in-everybodys.html.

You know, Peterborough has always been portrayed as "Anytown, Canada." If our town is hurting, everytown is hurting. Before any government at any level in this country can even whisper the words "tax cuts," they need to fix the problem of feeding the hungry.

"Canada's budget in 2007 will continue to cut taxes and will address complaints from provinces regarding insufficient government funding, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Tuesday. The Conservatives, who came to power a year ago, introduced tax cuts totaling C$20 billion ($17 billion) over a two-year period in their first budget in May."

http://www.globeinvestor.com/servlet/story/ROC.20070123.2007-01-23T184158Z_01_N23272534_RTRIDST_0_BUSINESS-HARPER-BUDGET-COL/GIStory

The time has come for A Common Sense Revolution On Poverty. We fail as a nation when or children go hungry !

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