Liberals are slow off the mark – comment/letter – Liberals are slow off the mark
April 03, 2008

Re:Having a job, but losing ground – April 2

We’ve known for years that the minimum wage is inadequate. Unfortunately, inadequate also describes the Liberal government’s response to poverty. Its measured response to the issue – planned increases that continue to keep the minimum wage below the poverty line – fits in well with its ever-so-gradual undoing of the provincial clawback of the federal child benefit for families on social assistance. That clawback should never have been implemented, yet two elections later and it is still in place.

One easy step would be to set up a provincial child-care system so that all children can get the early childhood education that’s essential to their development. A more difficult but equally necessary step would be for the Liberals to keep their promise and fix the school funding formula, so that all children have access to the quality education that should be their right. Integrating the two would provide a cost-effective solution to allow parents to compete in the job market.

Setting up the necessary programs to eliminate poverty doesn’t require any great leaps of faith. We only need to follow the successful examples of other governments. Instead, we find ourselves in a position where we could lose essential capabilities in the war against poverty due to a free-trade ideology.

The Progressive Conservatives have lambasted McGuinty as being not up to the task in the last two provincial elections. So far, he has done nothing to prove them wrong.

Gary Dale, Toronto

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