A flyer in my mail box informs me that
- 3.4 million Canadians live in poverty
- 242,000 seniors live in poverty
- more than 788,000 of our children live in poverty
- most adults below the low income cut-off are working
It goes on to state that the Conservatives have abandoned low-income families.
Well I suppose since the prodigal has returned, we should cheer. At last the Liberals have seen the error of their ways. After all they were in power for a long time, and they came into power chiding Brian Mulroney for promising to eliminate child poverty to the UN and then doing absolutely nothing about it. And then did nothing themselves.
I do not think there is anything new or surprising about this data - except perhaps the way that it leaves out how poverty is concentrated into geographic and ethnic pockets - First Nations facing some of the worst problems. Also something the Liberals could have tackled during the Chretien years, but didn't. Stéphane Dion does need to show that he is different - and this is certainly a step away from the past. Although I see no sense of apology or recognition of the impact of previous Liberal policies.
My reaction to it is a bit like the one I have to the BC government's transit announcement. It is late and not enough and unlikely to change things any time soon, but at least they recognise that they were wrong before.