Mr. Speaker, a recent Statistics Canada report shows that the spectre of poverty continues to haunt Hamilton families.
From 2001 to 2006, while the Liberal Party held government, we saw almost no change in the number of children living in poverty. In 2001, 24% of our kids lived below the poverty line; in 2006, that had only dropped to 23.6%. At that rate, it will take about 295 years to end child poverty in Hamilton.
Almost 90,000 Hamiltonians live in poverty. Children, seniors, aboriginals, the disabled and new Canadians are most likely to be impacted. Even worse, those at the bottom of the income list are getting poorer.
The NDP has offered solutions: fix the EI system; create a real child care plan; bring in real income security for seniors and persons with disabilities; offer training for immigrants; and restart our cherished national housing program.
The Liberals had three consecutive majority governments to fight poverty and it only got worse. And the Conservatives? They are not even trying.
We have to take action. We have to fight poverty and we have to do it now.