Electorate tolerates poverty

TheStar.com – opinion/letters – Re: Need Help? Don’t look to Ottawa, Column, March 16
Published On Fri Mar 18 2011.  

Malcolm Stewart

I agree with Carol Goar that the cause of Canada’s unconcern for the poor, homeless and disabled lies closer to home than the federal government’s rejection of a constructive and affordable poverty reduction proposal. Rather, it lies with an uncaring, self-centred electorate that tolerates federal indifference to poverty while reducing its charitable giving, and an insatiable corporate sector that clamours for lower taxes, already among the lowest in the G8.

Federal policies are only conforming to our predominant national selfishness. Under current arrangements, the provinces — faced with growing deficits, reduced federal transfers and limited revenue options — do not have the resources to support health care, education, poverty reduction programs and housing strategies at an adequate and humane level. If we continue to ignore this situation, the future costs in continuing human misery and wasted lives will surely far surpass those of modest intervention now.

Malcolm Stewart, Toronto

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