Tuesday, February 20, 2007

NDP motion to close prosperity gap

i'm glad this is being proposed! if we have the money to be in afghanistan, then isn't it just as important if not more important to close the gap; and start focusing more on eliminating poverty in canada.

NDP motion to close prosperity gap
Mon 19 Feb 2007 ndp.ca

Anti-poverty plan starts with reinstating $10 minimum wage

OTTAWA – The NDP announced today that it has tabled a motion in the House of Commons to reinstate the federal minimum wage. The motion also calls on the federal government to implement a national anti-poverty strategy. The NDP motion sets the federal minimum wage at $10 per hour.

“In a country as wealthy as ours, it’s not right that so many working and middle class families are working harder and harder just to make ends meet,” said NDP Leader Jack Layton.

Today one in six Canadians live in poverty and nearly 1.2 million of these are children. Many adults living in poverty work for rock-bottom wages. One quarter of poor families now have someone working full time and two million families are unable to find shelter they can afford. The federal minimum wage was abolished by the Liberal government in 1996.

“The prosperity gap is growing. Half of all working Canadians worry that they are only one or two paycheques away from poverty. That’s not right. We need a national poverty plan to help the poor and those who might slip into poverty,” said NDP Social Policy Critic Tony Martin (Sault Ste. Marie), who has launched a cross-country consultation on poverty in Canada.

The NDP’s motion will be debated by parliamentarians Tuesday and voted on later in the week.


rabbit said...

One in six Canadians live in poverty? Where did that statistics come from?

Statistics Canada publishes a low-income cut-off statistic, but they have said about a million times that it is a measure of wealth distribution, not poverty.

What Canada needs is a true measure of poverty, one that directly measures a person's access to adequate food, clothing, and shelter, and (in Canada at least) education and medical care.

I doubt that this is easy to do, but that's why economists get paid the big bucks.

I believe that the lack of such a measure creates cynicism and frustration amongst many who are truly concerned with poverty in this country. It also leaves us vulnerable to those who would use poverty as a political football. It's as if we are trying to paint a picture blindfolded.