Mr. Speaker, here are the sobering facts. At least 200,000 Canadians experience homelessness in any given year. At least 150,000 Canadians use a homeless shelter at some point, and tonight 30,000 Canadians will be homeless.
That is why I was proud to participate in the Coldest Night of the Year walk to support homelessness and to support outflow ministries that provide shelter, hope, and so much more for those who are hurting. Thanks to Tony Dickinson, Jamie Hall, Phil Appleby, Colin McDonald, Chanelle Morgan, and Laura Duncansen for their leadership.
Coming from a city with the highest child poverty rates in the country and some of the highest homelessness rates in the country, fighting poverty is my top priority. As we know, this will not be an easy task, but working alongside Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and his department and putting a strong case forward to make Saint John a model city on poverty, we can bring outside-of-the-box thinking, fresh ideas, and innovation to an issue that has plagued my city and our country for far too long.