Mr. Speaker, to its credit, the Hamilton Spectator is currently running a 10-part series on poverty called “Code Red”, written by award-winning reporter Steve Buist. According to the statistics, the level of poverty that exists in parts of Hamilton is what one might expect in third world countries.
With a groundbreaking health mapping project, the research shows there is a 21-year gap in life expectancy between wealthy and poor neighbourhoods within the city. This represents the loss of an entire generation. However, no MPs should think their ridings are immune. Similar situations exist in communities from coast to coast to coast. The “Code Red” series has revealed that, more than anything else, social determinants of health, such as education, housing, social supports and income do affect overall health.
No Hamiltonian enjoys seeing our community reflected this way, but we need to face the truth. The truth is that, until we have a federal government with the political will to provide national leadership to eradicate poverty, the whole truth is that this is a code red for Canada.