Chretien Liberals' Double Standards
By Shawgi Tell, TML Daily, 29 November 1997
500,000 more children are living in poverty in Canada today than in 1989 - a 58 percent increase. This brings the number of children considered to be living in poverty to a record 1.5 million. The latest information on this was released in a report by Campaign 2000, a coalition of 60 agencies lobbying for an end to child poverty. The report also says that the number of children living in families whose parents are experiencing long-term unemployment is up 47 percent, while those living in families requiring social assistance is up 68 percent. The number of children living in unaffordable rental housing is up 48 percent and the number of families living in families earning less than $20,000 a year has increased 45 percent.
According to the report, a child is considered to be living in poverty if its family must spend more than 55 percent of its income on food, shelter and clothing. This is the limit known as the "low-income cutoff."
The report says that it would take $7.1 billion to lift Canada's children out of poverty. This is almost 10 times more than the Liberal government has pledged to spend "sometime during its mandate" on its "National Child Benefit Strategy." This is a far cry from the Liberal government's November 1993 pledge to eliminate child poverty by 2000.
This report goes a long way to bring out the double-standards and double-dealing of the Chretien government. It has a policy and plan when it comes to eliminating the deficit; it has a "policy objective" which "it is working hard to achieve," when it comes to eliminating child poverty.
Canadians know exactly what the Chretien Liberals are all about. Canada has more than enough resources to eliminate child poverty immediately. The issue facing the working class and people is to empower themselves to take over the affairs of government so that they, not the financial oligarchs, can set the priorities.