Kids Can’t Eat Promises or Pink Slips

For Immediate Release
May 28, 2014

(Hamilton): Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, called on the status quo parties to make a firm commitment to reducing childhood poverty.

“I want to challenge the three status quo leaders to stop the empty promises on ending childhood poverty and deliver a firm commitment by setting the right priorities” says Schreiner. “We have the money to support your kids, but the other parties lack the commitment.”

The Conference Board of Canada gives Canada a grade of ‘C’ and ranks us 15th out of 17 peer countries for the number of kids living in poverty. Despite decades of promises, no progress has been made on reducing the number of children who live in poverty — in Ontario, one in every seven.

Poverty is destructive to individuals, communities, and the economy. The OECD says that rich nations’ failure to tackle poverty is “not only socially reprehensible, but it will also weigh heavily on countries’ capacity to sustain economic growth in years to come.”

“This is a problem we can solve,” says Schreiner. “The Green Party wants to double the Ontario Child Benefit for 500,000 kids living in poverty in Ontario. What’s more, we know exactly how we will pay for it: by cutting the Liberals 10% hydro handout that mostly benefits the rich and costs us $1.1 billion a year and opposing NDP hydro gimmicks that we cannot afford.”

The Green Party leader also criticized the Conservatives’ economic strategy. “I have yet to have a low-income family tell me — Mike, you have to lower taxes on big corporations. And while you’re at it, fire 100,000 people with stable, good-paying jobs,” says Schreiner. “I don’t think that anyone in Ontario is convinced by Tim’s voodoo economics.”

After a morning visit at a Guelph food market committed to overcoming poverty locally, Schreiner arrives in Hamilton Centre.

“In Hamilton Centre, heritage school buildings are being closed and demolished. As a result, displaced students are transported to distant locations every day. This is a common challenge for many of Ontario’s inner-city ridings, and highlights the importance of examining the efficiencies of a single education system,” said Peter Ormond, Green Party Candidate in Hamilton Centre. “Rethinking the current system will ensure that children and communities receive top priority.”

Mike Schreiner and the Green Party are bringing honesty, integrity, and good public policy to Queen’s Park.

Media contact: Candice Lepage