Statement made on 17 October 2007 by Senator Jim Munson
Hon. Jim Munson:
Honourable senators, I have a question for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Yesterday's Speech from the Throne left millions of Canadians — including myself and members of the opposition — troubled both with the tone and content of the speech. I am referring now to child poverty. As many honourable senators know, issues relating to child poverty are a priority for me; in particular, dealing with children in this area of Ottawa. How troubling to see little reference to action the government will take to address the shocking prevalence of child poverty in this country.
In Ottawa, just a doorstep away, according to the Ottawa-Carleton Child Poverty Action Group, one in five children live in poverty. In Renfrew County, one in eight live in poverty. Campaign 2000 tells us that Canada is second only to the U.S. as a low-wage country among industrialized nations.
Yet, let us take a closer look. There is nothing in the Speech from the Throne to address this problem. Homelessness was framed as an inconvenience or worry for the middle class, not as the tragic red flag that should call any well-meaning and responsible government to action.
Will the government turn its focus to providing support and opportunities to those Canadians who need help the most, low-income families and their children?
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