There is no official measure of poverty in Canada, Statistics Canada will not gather statistics because none of the political parties have defined what the poverty standard is in Canada. However, other organizations do collect statistics on poverty. According to the 2005 Innocenti report, 14.9% of all Canadian children live in poverty. This may not sound like a very high percentage, but any percentage is too high. Canada should take care of all its citizens. Certain groups tend to live in poverty at a higher rate than others. These groups include single mothers, physically and mentally handicapped persons, recent immigrants, students, and aboriginals. For most of them, they live in poverty due to no fault of their own.
One group is working to put poverty on the forefront of discussions by our citizens and by our politicians. That group is Make Poverty History. They are basically a lobby group for the poor. They are constantly pushing political parties to make poverty a priority and to talk about what plans they have to solve the problem of poverty. Make Poverty History is a grassroots organization that educates the public about poverty issues and gives them the incentive to change their neighbourhoods and their world.
It is up to us citizens to pay attention to the plight of our fellow humans and to make sure our politicians and officials understand the problems of poverty. We can hardly call ourselves civilized when thousands of children living in one of the world's richest nations go to bed hungry every night.
This post is part of Blog Action Day 08 - Poverty