To the Editor,
Re: ‘Solutions’ to help poor provide little in terms of results, Letters, Oct. 18.
I want to address some impressions that Matt James has expressed about poor people – probably because he has not spent a lot of time with this population or considered the broader economic picture.
First, income inequality is growing at a faster rate in Canada than in many other countries. From 1982 to 2004, the top one per cent had their incomes double and it’s getting worse.
There was no trickle-down effect from this. The bottom 60 per cent had almost no increase during that time. The segment above that had a slight increase in income.
We know what inflation has done to our grocery bills and transportation costs during that time and the eight years since that. Housing, transportation and food are almost impossible to sustain for those on the minimum wage.
Those on a disability pension – which must be approved first by a doctor, an assessor, and a panel in Victoria – are in an even worse predicament. Not everybody who has a serious medical disability is in a hospital bed. They can be walking around, just barely and in pain, among us.
If we want to attack the problem of poverty and homelessness, then we have to attack the system that has caused it.
In the meantime, there are hungry and homeless, cold, shivering, wet, and suffering people right now in Nanaimo.