Poverty is not acceptable in a country like Canada

CapeBretonPost.com – Opinion/Letters-to-the-Editor – Topics : KennedyEast Cape Breton Community Health Board , Canada
Published on February 21, 2011.   Yvonne Kennedy

Every parent looks into the eyes of their newborn child and wants only the best for the future. As the child grows, there are many social and economic factors that play key roles in how that child develops.

These factors include nutritious food, adequate clothing, and a warm safe home. Access to health care and positive experiences at home and within the community determine if a child will learn to value themselves and therefore develop a strong outlook on life.

Many children in Canada live in families that are struggling just to get by.  One in 10 Canadians lives in poverty. That’s three million people. That’s a truly sad statistic when we realize that we live in one of the richest countries in the world.

Poverty is a very simple concept. People simply do not have enough to eat and have limited access to clean, affordable housing. Many of us cannot imagine living in poverty yet no one knows when their lives can change. An accident, mental health issues, loss of employment, divorce or an abusive relationship can quickly bring a person to the ugly world of poverty.

Everyone living in poverty has a story. Poverty leaves a person feeling isolated, lonely and hungry. This is not acceptable when we live in such a great country.

The time is right for all of us … politicians, people of faith and ordinary citizens to reflect on how we can make a difference in the lives of others. We should do it because it is the right thing to do. Canadians should be able to stand tall and say that we live in a country without poverty.

Yvonne Kennedy

East Cape Breton Community Health Board

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