Poverty statistics point to economic system failure, says Sen. Art Eggleton

By Michael Swan

The Catholic Register

If the economy leaves 1.3 million Canadian children living in poverty, is the economy really working?

The answer is pretty clear for Senator and former Toronto mayor Art Eggleton.

“The system has failed,” he told religious leaders gathered at Queen’s Park Nov. 24.

“The band-aid approach, the incremental approaches that have been tried over the years – as good as the intentions have been – still haven’t been enough to really move the (poverty) numbers in a big way.”

Little tweaks here and there to welfare systems aren’t going to change the outlook for a million Canadian households who can’t pay the rent and put food on the table, Eggleton told members of the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARAC). Too many Canadians have been left behind by a rapidly transforming and globalizing economy, he said.

“You know this came up a lot in the U.S. election,” Eggleton said. “The fact is that a lot of people have been left out.”

Speaking to ISARC in the Ontario legislature on the same day as Campaign 2000 released its annual report card on child poverty, Eggleton proposed five ways in which Canada could tackle its growing problem with entrenched poverty – a problem that costs the Canadian economy $30 billion per year.

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