Common Sense Comes to Town!

Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. (Descartes)

G20 and Child Poverty

Posted on | July 8, 2010 | No Comments

Despite federal laws on this topic, one child out of ten still lived in poverty in Canada in 2009. This means about 637 000 children. Meanwhile, our Prime Minister offered a sumptuous and lavish week-long vacation to his colleagues from around the world for the negligible amount of 1,2 billion dollars. Add things up any way you want, this still comes up to about 2000$ per child.

Obviously, child poverty also means parent living under the same conditions. The problem of poverty on the whole will not correct itself overnight, but how can we make sure young children will avoid its negative effects?

The answer is partly based on education. It is our collective duty to insure to each individual, each children, the same opportunities for self growth which, in the 21st century, means access to higher education. What could we do with 2000$ per child? First, for about 5$ per school day we could give them at least two healthy and fulfilling meals. Malnourished children have lower grades – will this surprise anybody?  So we’re left with 1000$.

Why not put some of it aside? The anticipated hike in tuition fees  could impede the access to higher studies. Let’s make sure that poorer children have an equal chance of entering university by investing a part of this amount in a RESP. Only half of our remaining 1000$ on a yearly basis, with interests, will improve the budget of future freshmen.

What to do with the remaining 500$? This still represent an overall amount of 300 million dollars. There are plenty of ideas already on the table: helping new immigrants, permanent institutions for heavier cases in the education system, tuition breaks for parents who are going back to school.

As for the next G20 meeting, it could always be held in a wooden shack in Northern Ontario. This will at least put a stop to police cruelty, media frenzy, and useless public expenses: there are already quite a number of beautiful lakes in this part of Canada.


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  • Photographie par Patrick Meunier

    Tous droits réservés, Patrick Meunier, 2010

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