This letter (Western News, Jan. 22, Speaking the truth)is a poignant statement on how our country fails the least among us.
Canada has the highest rate of poverty among the G7 countries and B.C. has had the highest rate of child poverty in Canada for years; absolutely shameful and unnecessary. This clearly demonstrates the lack of political will to actually create an egalitarian society, despite our pontification on the world stage.
As an example, the first thing the Liberal government did was reduce the taxes on the middle income earners. Leading up to the election, there was no mention of raising pension rates or supporting provincial governments to raise the totally inadequate welfare and disability pension rates. Currently B.C. has the highest rate of employment in Canada and the least debt of all provinces. The best we could do to, however, after too many years of inequality is raise the minimum wage a mind-numbing 20 cents an hour; right up there with the CEOs of public service managers and crown corporations. Notice that there is always government money for big ticket expenditures like tax breaks, start up grants and other incentives for wealthy corporations, but no such assistance to the least among us who daily live in uncertainty and despair in a struggle to survive.
Forty years ago there was considerable national debate about the need for a guaranteed annual income (GAI) to dissolve this canker and it has not seen the light of day since. Lest we forget, a GAI will stimulate the economy,too, as people with money will spend it.