Letters: Awareness not politics needed

Issues of poverty are complicated and not necessarily about politics

My main reaction to “Politics of Poverty Continues” (Tom Fletcher.  28/11), was that the writer seemed more interested in the partisan politics of this complex social issue than in raising public awareness and compassion,and encouraging more effective societal responses about its debilitating long-tem effects, especially on children. I was therefore glad to see in last week’s edition a response from Kendra Milne, a B.C. lawyer knowledgable in the area of poverty.

As Kendra Milne remarks, there can be arguments about various research approaches and measurements concerning poverty in this country. Nevertheless, the evidence that a number of Canadian individuals and families experience poverty, due to a combination of factors beyond their control, is sufficiently compelling that stronger economic, social and political measures are clearly called for, even if there might be argument as to their nature and degree. This is especially true for certain groups such as some of our First Nations communities.

Unfortunately, the article conveys the judgmental notion that most people could overcome poverty by taking their own unsupported action. For example, simplistic advice is offered about moving from a high-rent urban area to a lower-rent area elsewhere. My experience, as a long-time professional worker in the social field, is that if people are in a practical position to do that, including dealing with all the associated costs and stress involved, they usually do so.  Unfortunately, as Kendra Milne points out, this doesn’t necessarily lessen their impoverishment if, as is often the case, other variables cost more or needed services are less adequate.

Circulating the public with well-researched information and a more understanding discussion about the impacts of poverty would be a better way of addressing the challenge of how we might, as a concerned society, reduce or eliminate this problem.

Mary Brown

Shirley

Just Posted

Victoria woman to cycle Portugal as winner of BC Bike to Work Week

Malene Foyd logged 49km cycling to work with the Ministry of Environment; “I always bike to work, rain or shine.”

Victoria man in custody after downtown stabbing

Officers arrested suspect without incident, hours after afternoon stabbing

New kitchen for Mustard Seed built by volunteers

Members of HeroWork spent nearly a month building a new processing kitchen in Esquimalt

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Victoria man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

WEB POLL: Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?

Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?… Continue reading

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest, Ride Don’t Hide, Cordova Bay Day and more

Late Bellingham homer sinks HarbourCats at home

Visiting Bells take two of three West Coast League games in Victoria, Cats off to Walla Walla

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

Most Read