MP questioned

Resident concerned with recent comments from MP Colin Mayes

I have been noting with increasing alarm our MP’s puzzling way of synthesizing, understanding and sharing information on almost any topic.

For example, Colin Mayes asserted on Jan. 6, that the Harper government’s Action Plan to reduce poverty in Canada is working, as UNICEF claims fewer people in Canada are poor.

However, he seems to have missed several parts of the report, including this one: Ten industrialized countries (about a third of the total), including Australia, Japan and Germany, achieve lower rates of child poverty than in the population as a whole: Canada is not among them. Canada ranks 18th of 35 industrialized nations” a middle position – in the size of the gap between child poverty (14 per cent) and population poverty (12 per cent).

So fewer (but still a lot of) Canadians are poor, but more of them are children. Is that an action plan that is working?

Is poverty in a country such as Canada acceptable at any level? It is difficult to compare poverty in Canada to poverty in a poor country across the world, until you meet the people who suffer under the weight of it, understand the true costs of it, and realize that calamity can strike any of us at any time; we are all vulnerable in a society that believes that programs are working when they are, in fact, not.

In B.C., since we have no provincial plan (the only province with that distinction), the soundness of a federal plan is more important than ever. Let’s not be fooled by Mr. Mayes’ words (nor Christy Clark’s lack thereof).


M. Richoux