I wrote an essay on poverty for the Defining Canada website on Blog Action Day -- today, October 14th, 2008. A chance to open the dialogue on a subject too often missed, particularly on an election day here in Canada.
I've just heard that the turn-out for this latest election exercise may well have been the lowest yet -- and exercise in futility, some might say.
But...I am an optimist. I'd like to think that this gives us a chance to look at what we have, what we value, and what we want for the future. My daughter got to cast her vote today for the first time as an adult -- I'm proud that she stepped forward and took the risk that her opinion might make a difference.
On this day of world-wide internet discussion, let's turn our eyes to the things that our new government can do in this country to combat poverty. How about starting with clean water -- what about a goal of no 'boil-water advisories' on reserve lands in Canada? What about finding ways to ensure every Canadian has a safe place to sleep at night? And what if we forget about the government altogether for a minute and look at the way that we each might help the fight against poverty every day. It's more than markets, up or down or roller-coastering. It's people who make the difference.
Ask yourself why we take for granted that since there always has been poverty, there always will be.