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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Couple more letters

Wrote the first one after reading one more story about government funding cuts to gaming and the poor. The sarcasm just oozes from it and it is one of my favourites. This one was actually published as close to verbatum as they get. The second I wrote with regards to some stories about Welfare roles decreasing. They certainly may be but overall, I have no doubt, poverty is increasing.

Written March 17 and published in the Daily News on the 18th Trust our wise elected officials to look after us and the Bulletin on the 20th.

We should all feel grateful to Mary Polak for her extreme generosity reducing cuts to family and community programs from $10 million to $7.4 million. I mean really what would we do without these tremendous gestures from the Liberal Government, brings tears to my eyes the level of caring being shown.

Surely the people of B.C. are appreciative and realize that in no way will these cuts, as those that have gone before, contribute to our province's distinction of having the highest child poverty rates in the country for the greatest number of years. I mean honestly, the fact that B.C. has been distinguished in the child poverty field since the Liberals came to power in 2001 is purely coincidental.

Cuts to gaming grants and funding, why not? Our giving government recognizes this can only have a positive effect by decreasing gambling addictions. Once the consummate gambler realizes they are contributing less to non-profits surely they will look for better ways to support community.

Should we really feel sorry for the cuts to Volunteer Nanaimo, arts, adult sports etc.? Heck no, even the most cognitively challenged of us realize those taking part in the aforementioned would be better off getting second jobs and not wasting time in extracurricular endeavours. All this extra money would surely reduce the poverty rates.

Come on folks lets trust the wisdom of our elected officials, they are after all only looking out for what's best for us.

Written March 5th and published in the Daily News March 8th Welfare role numbers do not tell the whole story

Re: 'Welfare roll rise is slowing down' (March 5, Daily News)

I am afraid I beg to differ with John Horn on this one.

People are still falling into the pit and face even more problems climbing out.
As the gap between the haves and have nots grows ever wider the depth of the pit grows far deeper and the ability of people to climb out, without still having to rely on services like food banks and the 7-10 Club, grows increasingly slimmer.

Yes there are housing initiatives in the works but they are sadly slow in coming.
Those that are coming are low barrier for the hard to house and not for your average Joe or Joanne living in poverty in the community.

Rents have risen, the cost of living has risen and income assistance rates, the last fallback, remain the same.

For years, Nanaimo has been moving from a resource-based to service-based economy. With the move have gone the reasonably well paying jobs now replaced by minimum wage or slightly higher.

Those who have lost and will lose decent jobs, while having Employment Insurance and Income Assistance for survival, now can look forward to jobs paying well below the poverty line and many of these only part time.

While the number of income assistance applications declines the numbers of people, families and children, living in poverty are most definitely on the rise.

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