On the side of the angels

TheGlobeandMail.com – Opinions/Letters to the Editor
August 17, 2010.   Laurel Rothman

I agree with Lorna Dueck that credible, reliable statistics are critical to improving our society (Even God Ordered A Census – Aug. 16). Statistics, gathered in a neutral, confidential way over time, are the underpinning of good public policies. Most Canadians are disturbed to read that the number of children relying on food banks has grown from 151,200 in 1989 to 269,600 in 2008, and that those under 18 comprise 22 per cent of our population yet represent 37 per cent of food-bank users. Statistics Canada data (Income Trends in Canada, 1976-2007) report that 28.7 per cent of children lived in a low-income family for at least one year between 2002 and 2007.

Solving these problems requires more than reacting to an impression, an observation or counting on faith alone. Parliamentarians will likely agree when they get down to implementing their unanimous Nov. 24, 2009, resolution to “develop an immediate plan to eliminate poverty in Canada for all.”

Laurel Rothman, director of social reform, Family Service Toronto

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