Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the United Way for hosting its “Living on the Edge” poverty experience in Halifax last week. As I worked my way through the simulation, it was a powerful reminder of just how difficult life in poverty can be.
Poverty is not just about a lack of employment or money; it is a lack of safe affordable housing, reliable transportation, healthy food, child care, prescription medication, education and training. Poverty can box us in, limit our choices and rob us of our dignity.
I am grateful for the many organizations in and the people of Dartmouth—Cole Harbour who work tirelessly on these issues, including the Dartmouth Family Centre, the Public Good Society of Dartmouth, Feeding Others of Dartmouth, the Dartmouth Learning Network and the Circle of Care Society furniture bank, to name but a few.
As life becomes unaffordable for more and more Canadians, let us hope that 2015 is the year the government finally makes the elimination of poverty a top priority.