From Campaign 2000, Media Release (Toronto) — The Government of Canada has turned its back on low income people in Canada, the diligent work of the Senate and the majority will in the House of Commons for serious action on poverty. In its response to the 2009 Senate report In From the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, the government of Canada rejects the comprehensive recommendations in the report. It is noteworthy that all parties in the House of Commons excepting the minority Conservative government party support aggressive policies to drive down the poverty rate.
At least 1 in 10 Canadians was experiencing poverty before the economic turmoil set in. As Canadians continue to live through the economic upheaval of the past few years, it becomes clear that the situation will get worse before it improves. Current indicators highlight the numbers of people who have exhausted EI benefits, the rising caseloads of people applying for social assistance, and a record high rate of Canadians carrying debt.
“It’s hard to understand the government’s simplistic assumption that local communities should lead the fight against poverty while the federal government can walk away from basic income security and child care responsibilities. This is the moment for the federal government to embrace its historic role in addressing poverty and income inequality. Instead, the Government of Canada ignores creative public policy recommendations,” said Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator of Campaign 2000.