In 1989, a previous Conservative government endorsed the 2000 Campaign that was to end child poverty by the year 2000.
This did not happen under the former Conservative or Liberal governments, but for the first time, since this campaign started, the number of children in poverty has decreased under our government’s economic action plan strategy.
Recently, UNICEF reported the child poverty rate in Canada decreased during the recession, pulling roughly 180,000 children out of poverty. UNICEF credited this decrease to our government’s action in putting money back in the pockets of Canadian families.
The number of Canadians living below the low-income cut-off is now at its lowest level ever (8.8 per cent). Since 2006, there are 225,000 fewer children living in poverty in Canada.
Our work is not complete. This is why our government has increased and broadened the child care benefit allowance so that lower income families can provide for their children.
Our government believes the best way to end poverty is to give all Canadians an opportunity to work in a vibrant economy. We have seen, through our low tax policies and infrastructure investments, a creation of 1.2 million jobs since 2008. To ensure Canadians have the skills for today’s jobs our government has also invested in skills training, post-secondary education, and research and technology.
So how is this working out for Canadians? Well, in September we had a job increase of 72,000 and in October another 45,000. We also had a 2.5 per cent increase in our economic output which was above projections.
Why are jobs so important? Jobs create services and wealth for Canadians. Jobs pay taxes and in return help governments pay for health care, education and social services. Jobs provide income for Canadian families and help all Canadians be more prosperous. This is just economics 101.
This is what our government’s economic action plan is all about and the plan is working.
Colin Mayes is Okanagan-Shuswap MP.