Giving, not just for Christmas

Penticton Western News, Opinion – Editorial

There’s been much ado about Industry Minister James Moore’s miserly comments of it’s not the government’s job to ensure hungry children are fed. But, is it fair?

It’s no secret to the have-nots – like Tiny Tims and Bob Cratchets or as we’re increasingly known, the 99 per cent-that this isn’t the type of government that gets fussed by a paltry matters such as child poverty.

If you need evidence, Christmas is the easiest time to get a firsthand story about families who thought things were going along tickety-boo, until hit after hit to their bottom line sent them to the food bank or the Sally Ann for the holidays.

Local news organizations have lined their pages with their stories in an effort to get all who have a little more to ante up. But those stories contrasted against Moore’s stupid comment – apology disregarded – has made us realize that we all could do better.

The 2013 State of the Child Report, organized by Community Action Toward Children’s Heath and The report indicated the overall child poverty rate in B.C. is 17.1 per cent; 34.2 per cent of single-parent households have income levels that fall below the low income measure in the Kelowna metropolitan area. The report determined the 2013 living wage for the Central Okanagan is $18.01 per hour, to deal with: average housing costs of $1,264.96 per month, average food costs of $832.82 per month, average child care costs of $1,133.39 per month and average monthly transportation costs of $492.46 for families. That’s far too many people who are dealing with untenable circumstances, and their stories should weigh on us more often than just during the holidays, or when one of the feds open their mouth to spew Scrooge-like comments. Now excuse me, I’m going to check on my neighbours.