EDITORIAL: Make poverty an issue

We all know there are people struggling to put food on the table in the North Okanagan...

We all know there are people struggling to put food on the table in the North Okanagan, but the magnitude off the problem will still catch most off guard.

Between 2008 and 2011, use at the Salvation Army food bank in Vernon skyrocketed 87 per cent. While statistics have stabilized in the past year, there are still 1,100 people dependent on the agency, with 30 per cent of them being under the age of 18.

And not everyone is on social assistance. Eleven per cent of the households receiving help are living on income from current or recent employment.

It’s likely food banks in Enderby, Armstrong, Lumby and Lake Country are also facing the same challenges.

The latest HungerCount study coincides with municipal elections throughout the North Okanagan and the timing couldn’t be better.

Voters should be asking the candidates what they will do to help improve conditions for all residents, but particularly those living below the poverty line. What actions will they take to expand the availability of affordable housing? Do they have a strategy to attract investors who will create jobs that will sustain a family? Will the new mayors and councillors lobby the federal and provincial government to fund programs that support families and individuals looking to turn their lives around?

Some candidates will want to push social issues on to senior government, but they can’t be ignored at the local level. There are links between extreme poverty and crime, substance abuse and public safety.

As the Nov. 19 elections draw near, make the needs of your neighbours, friends and family an issue.

 

 

Just Posted

Kelowna blanks North Okanagan Knights

Both goalies were game stars Saturday in the Chiefs’ 3-0 win

Vernon Vipers stuff Wild on Teddy Bear Toss night

Vipers beat Wild 6-4 in game delayed to clear ice littered with stuffies after Matt Kowalski goal

Make a donation, get a free coffee at Vernon café

Bean to Cup is accepting donated items as part of Project Christmas Elf

WATCH: North Okanagan Knights score teddies for children in OT loss to Osoyoos

Russel Borrett’s early goal triggered the Teddy Bear Toss at Nor-Val Arena Friday night

Vernon Baseball to field high-level teams in spring 2020

Registration for the U18 Triple-A and U13 Double-A teams opens Monday

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Mitchell’s Musings: Not to be taken internally, seiously?

Common sense needed more than warning labels

Slippery sections reported on Okanagan and Shuswap highways

Some sections of the Trans-Canada highway have black ice on them.

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were woman

Summerland college operated from 1906 to 1915

Ritchie Hall and Morton Hall were constructed for Okanagan Baptist College

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Most Read