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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Garden-sharing map connects Victoria landowners and gardeners

U-Map created by Young Agrarians after COVID-19 created uptick in garden matching requests

Saanich wins award for climate plan cut from 2020 budget

‘It’s truly an exceptional plan,’ says councillor disappointed with lack of funding

Oak Bay Grade 8 students end time at Monterey with drive-through goodbye

School holds socially-distanced completion ceremony

CRD warns of toxic algae bloom at Thetis Lake Regional Park

Visitors advised to avoid swimming in lake, keep pets out of water

Saanich police, pound respond to possible cougar sighting

Cougar possibly seen in area of 4500-block of Chatterton Way

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read