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On Wednesday, April 6th, a video appeared on the national news websites that involved Chris Alexander, the Conservative candidate running in Pickering-Ajax. The clip was from a forum on poverty issues

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tory-candidate-chris-alexander-talks-poverty-in-ajax/article1973437/

I’m incredibly disappointed by this.  Our candidates must understand the issues surrounding poverty in this country. There is no wiggle room on that and no excuse when the afflictions of the poor are so evident in every community across this country.

I contrast Mr. Alexander’s comments with some of my comments on poverty which has been a focus for me far before this election.

http://audioboo.fm/boos/262694-marc-on-behalf-of-canada-without-poverty-in-kitchener-on

As someone with lived experience of poverty, it is disturbing to me that anyone in this country still fails to understand the importance of this issue, let alone someone who is running for federal office.  As frustrating as that is, I see this recent development as a sign that we need to continue to educate everyone on poverty issues in this country.

I believe that in the 2011 Federal Election campaign poverty needs to be, and should be, and is, a top 5 issue in this campaign. Eliminating poverty in this country should be one of our top priorities.  It’s one of the reasons I have stood firmly behind Tony Martin and his Bill C-545: An Act To Eliminate Poverty in Canada

 

Marc meets with MP Tony Martin during a visit to Brantford

http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Parl=40&Ses=3&Mode=1&Pub=Bill&Doc=C-545_1

We need to spread the word that poverty exists in our communities and is serious.  Any attempt to undermine the seriousness of poverty is wrong.  Let’s look at this gaffe from the Ajax-Pickering Candidate as an opportunity to educate him, and every other candidate on this issue.

I have reached out to Mr. Alexander to meet with me to discuss, or debate, issues surrounding poverty.  I have both called and e-mailed him. 

We need to spread the word that’s it’s time to eliminate poverty in this country, and we need to do this during this election campaign. There are several ways you can do this:

  • Join the ‘Poverty Is A Top 5 Issue’ page on Facebook, and invite your friends
  • When you talk about the federal election on Twitter, use the hashtag #PovertyIsATop5Issue
  • When candidates talk about poverty in the media, post the articles to your Facebook
  • Write letters to your candidates telling them that you want to hear their stance on poverty issues
  • Volunteer with groups in your community who work on this issue
  • Elect candidates who will actually work to eliminate poverty in this country and not just talk about it

We need everyone in Canada to understand that poverty is a crisis affecting our country, and that we must work together to find a solution to eliminate poverty.  This election let’s finally make poverty a top 5 issue.

Another thing I encourage everyone to do during this election is to screen the documentary Poor No More and engage the community in discussion on this issue.  See the video below for some examples from my riding of Brant.

http://www.youtube.com/TheBrantMarc#p/u/8/BD94npKGq-w

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