In choosing to ignore the latest report on poverty,this one authoured by the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (man that's a mouthful idnit), the "Harper Government", certainly isn't alone, as governments of all stripes have done so time and time again.
There certainly isn't anything new in this report,it covers the same ground and and makes the same set of recommendations that all of the also ignored reports the preceded it did. We already know what needs to be done to alleviate the scourge of poverty. But if you are interested here are some of the committee's 58 recommendations:
• New federal transfer fund to support provincial poverty reduction initiatives
• Long-term national housing and homelessness strategy
• Increase in Canada Child Tax Benefit and Supplement to $5,000 from the current $3,436 per child within five years
• Refundable Disability Tax Credit
• Improved Employment Insurance
• Improvements to the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors
• National child-care program
• More funding for aboriginal housing, education and social services
What IS different this time is how the government has chosen to respond. No "we will study the report", no "we can't afford it at this time", instead it responded by telling those unable to work due to disability, illness and age, to get a job.
“Our Conservative government believes that the best way to fight poverty is to grow our economy and get Canadians working.”
This totally ignores two realities regarding poverty in Canada. For those unable to work, finding a job is simply not an option, but the "Harper Government:" knows this already. They merely choose instead to play their never ending game of demonizing the poor,framing the elderly, the disabled and cancer sufferers as lazy leeches, forcing them to run a deficit. If only these lazy bums would get up out of their wheel chairs and sick beds and get a job, we could balance the budget and lower your taxes.
Another reality for the poor in this country is that those with jobs make up the third largest group of food bank users, and growing. As our economy is being deliberately driven away from one that provides long term, stable,well paying jobs to one that instead only provides, short term,part time, unstable, low paying ones, those with jobs and are still unable to feed their families will grow exponentially in the years to come.