Sisters and Religious Leaders Demand End to Child Poverty
In Toronto, on Sept. 15, 2003, Sister Margaret Myatt, General Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph, represented the Catholic position at CACP's press conference on the topic of child poverty. She deplored that child poverty and lack of adequate housing still exist while neither issue is a prime agenda item on any party's election platform. Meanwhile, 40,000 children are still waiting for affordable housing.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto have joined forces with other faith communities to call on Ontario party leaders to address child poverty. Sixty leaders from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, and Buddhist faith communities called on the Ontario Party leaders to take action on the following:
- Matching federal funding to create sufficient affordable housing
- Ensuring low-income children receive full funds from the federal national Child Benefit
- Investment on high quality, licensed childcare services
- Increasing social assistance to reflect real rents
- Raising the minimum wage.
Sr. Margaret reminded those present of CACP's motto: "Prayer alone will not end child poverty."
CACP had forwarded questions on the five issues above to all the parties. Some of the answers were as follows:
Will your party create new affordable housing units?
NDP: 32,000 new units over four years
Liberal: 20,000 new units
(71,000 people are on waiting lists for social housing)
Will your party make it a priority to end the claw-back of the National Child Benefit from families on Social Assistance?
(Six provinces already do this)
Sr. Margaret called on political leaders to live up to their commitment to end child poverty.