Libby asks the Conservative government to enact a national anti-poverty strategy


House of Commons


November 22, 2012

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, 800,000 children are living in poverty on that record.

When we say it is okay for children to live in poverty, we are putting them on the road to life-long health problems.

We are stifling the growth of our children and their ability to live healthy lives and reach their full potential.

Today, as I said, 800,000 Canadian children live in poverty. This is a national shame.

When will the government finally take action to help our children grow up into healthy adults?

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, in fact, the child poverty rate in Canada is less than half what it was under the Liberal government. We are very proud of that. It is thanks to many of the things we have done. The economic action plan has resulted in over 820,000 net new jobs. That helps parents take care of families. The Canada child tax benefit and the universal child care benefit alone have helped 3.5 million families find their way out of poverty, not to mention the benefits of the working income tax benefit.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, no economic plan can ever be successful when so many kids are left behind.

According to Campaign 2000’s latest report, one in seven children is living in poverty. This is completely unacceptable, and it is a preventable tragedy.

We all know what needs to be done, but the Conservatives lack the will to even try.

When will the government finally adopt a national strategy to reduce poverty and allow children and their families to live with dignity?