The big picture on poverty

TheStar.com – opinion/letters
Published On Sun Feb 20 2011.   Andrea Croft

Ontario has been proposing solutions to poverty for decades without success. The Poverty Reduction Act of 2009 proposes to decrease the number of children living in poverty by 25 per cent (90,000 children) by 2013. Although this is an admirable step, this act does not recognize the severity of poverty amongst a sub-group of the community who suffer from mental illness, have addictions problems, are single parents, people with disabilities, and persons who are new immigrants to our country.

Mayor Rob Ford recently proposed to cut the provincial budget and part of this includes closing 6,000 refugee shelter beds in Toronto this month. I fear this may lead to the further displacement of marginalized individuals, which inevitably will increase the overall provincial poverty rates.

I question: Is it okay to just put money toward children in poverty, or do we need to start looking at a bigger picture? I contend we need to examine policy history and errors regarding poverty reduction.

This seems essential to work toward a vision of a province where every person has equal opportunity to achieve her/his full potential and participate meaningfully in a healthier Ontario.

Andrea Croft, Owen Sound

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