A call for action to reduce family poverty (The Vancouver Sun)
When MP James Moore asked a Vancouver reporter whether governments have an obligation to ensure kids don’t go to school hungry, his comments were rightly criticized by Canadians across the country as callous and cruel.
They were also incorrect; the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as international human rights treaties that Canada has committed to uphold, require governments to protect our rights to equality, life, and security of the person, and to do everything they can to ensure an adequate standard of living for all.
When Moore added that Canada has never been wealthier as a country than we are right now, he unintentionally underlined the vast inequality that exists in our society. Our governments have failed to ensure that our nation’s great wealth results in, at the very least, students arriving at school with nourishing food in their bellies, ready and able to learn.
On Family Day, it’s worth considering the way inequality plays out for B.C. families. B.C.’s abysmal child poverty rates — among the worst in the country for a decade — meaning one of every five children in B.C. lives in poverty. That’s 153,000 kids, enough to fill the stands at a Canucks’ game eight times over.