am particularly heartened by our government's re-affirmation of
our commitment to the National Children's Agenda in the Speech from
"In 1989, when the incidence of child poverty
stood at 15.3%, Parliament unanimously moved, 'to seek to achieve
the goal of eliminating child poverty among Canadian children by
the year 2000'. Yet, by the end of the Conservatives' mandate in
1993, the rate had soared to 21.3%. Over the past nine years, our
government has held the line at 18.5%, but this still leaves close
to one in five Canadian children living in a state of deprivation.
"This is an outrage not only against our
values of social justice, but also against our commitments to long
term national prosperity.
"As the most vulnerable members of society,
and the most innocent of the calamities that befall them, children
have the right of first call on society's resources. Moreover, it
is universally understood that early intervention to improve the
conditions of childhood is the most efficient and effective way
of maximising the likelihood of adults achieving their full potentials:
the Mustard report famously concluded that every dollar spent improving
the lot of children at risk saves seven dollars in later social
"Accordingly, the elimination of child
poverty is both a moral and economic imperative for Canada.
"I believe that our government's
ability to deliver on this commitment will be the standard by which
history will judge our Party."
For interviews, please contact:
Akaash Maharaj Campaign
(416) 413 4743