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

CRD commission votes against alternate Malahat route through watershed

Commission voted unanimously after several speakers at meeting

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Geography among factors behind Saanich’s place on worst intersection list

Site of McKenzie Interchange Project ranks as worst intersection on Vancouver Island

Victoria Police looking for rightful owner of abandoned toolbox

VicPD found a toolbox full of tools on the side of a downtown Victoria street

Victoria parking fees bring in more than $17 million every year

Parking fees make up seven per cent of the city’s annual revenue

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Wife remembers B.C. man killed in possible case of mistaken identity

Rex Gill was in Kamloops working to support his family after oilfield job dried up

Early morning shooting in Courtenay

Reporter at taped-off scene outside apartment complex

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

New report calls for regulated heroin sales to curb B.C.’s overdose problem

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Most Read