Stop Poverty Rally

January 26, 2009

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CAW Stop Poverty Rally Braves Bitter Cold in Whitby
CAW Stop Poverty Rally Braves Bitter Cold in Whitby
dated January 17, 2009

Whitby, Ontario
January 17, 2009

       Despite the bitter cold and cutting winds a stalwart band of activists, including CAW members, marched through the streets of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's riding of Whitby on January 17. While Flaherty was ensconced in the warmth of parliament Hill, rally organizer Rebecca Harrison stood in front of her fellow citizens in minus 17 degree weather and urged them to make their opinions heard by the politicians.

Rebecca Harrison
Stop Poverty Rally organizer

       "There are too many people right now in this country that are on the verge of losing their jobs or that have just lost their job, that are looking at a system that even before this crisis really wasn't capable of taking care of them to the full extent. On the other side of that they are looking down the pipeline and not knowing when that next job is coming. For them we have to do better now and we have to do better on January 27th when Jim Flaherty puts through his budget."

       Chris Buckley, president of the Canadian Auto Workers Local 222 told the crowd that while the federal government must address the economic situation in Canada, the need to address child poverty is even more critical.

Chris Buckley
CAW Local 222 President

       "There's a whole host of issues our federal government needs to address at the new federal budget. They need a stimulus package that will help the average middle class person. The middle class is evaporating from our country and that is an absolute shame. But what is more shameful is in 2009 children are still going hungry in the greatest country in the world. No child should go hungry in the country of Canada. That is an absolute disgrace. Jim Flaherty last week in his town hall meeting said he has got to get it right in 2009. Well my message to Jim Flaherty is get it right in 2009 Mr. Flaherty and end child poverty once and for all."

       Steve Conway, a member of CAW Local 222 Flying Squad said poverty is not limited to the poor neighbourhoods. He recalled a story his wife told him after teaching in an affluent neighbourhood in the Whitby area.

Steve Conway
CAW Local 222

       "By the time she was finished at that school, she finally asked some of the other teachers why one girl is only coming to school half-days and the other girl is coming half days? And they told her that the family only had one winter coat and one pair of boots and so they were sharing."

       Harrison is spearheading a petition writing campaign urging everyone to write their member of Parliament and demand they live up to the resolution passed by the House of Commons to end child poverty by the year 2000.

Rebecca Harrison
Stop Poverty Rally organizer

       "I was six years old when they passed that resolution and they all got along as we tell children to do and they said 'yes we are committed to this.' The only thing missing is commitment. There are solutions out there. I looked for five minutes. And when you talk to Mr. Flaherty, he is quite quick to tell you that it is municipalities and the province that have to deal with it. The federal role in poverty reduction is huge and they have to step up now."

CAW Fighting Back Makes A Difference.

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