Saturday, October 6, 2007

What about kids and seniors, dudes?

Two groups have gotten the shrift during the current Ontario campaign -- children and seniors.

While in the last few days we've finally seen some talk about tackling child poverty the fact it that it doesn't go nearly far enough. True, the new and tentative Ontario Child Benefit will help families with young kids a lot -- with up to $1100 per year per child under seven in what amounts to a negative income tax.

But it doesn't address the working poor without or with kids, many who live paycheque to paycheque just to make ends meet. They need a working income supplement -- none is being offered.

The minimum wage is too low. It's going up to $10.25 over three years. It should be that, now, and pegged to inflation thereafter.

And there's no child care strategy. None. Blame this party on PMS, but also blame it on three leaders who may have kids but live in a fantasy world when it comes to raising their kids -- going to private school or those publicly funded schools with the best test scores; plus their provincial tax exemption on virtually everything as government employees. When are working people going to get a break?

As for seniors -- Pointy Head had to be literally bullied by the home care industry to raise the food allowance from about $5.40 per diem to $7. Funny Face is promising dignity for seniors who are in home care right now but I haven't heard anything from his campaign about the waiting lists and easing the burden on those who, like me, have to take care of ill parents or grandparents. And as for Rainy River ... maybe the smog from the paper mills in Fort Frances have done something to him, because pollution up north is just as bad for seniors as it is for those in the south. Nothing from him, either.

Little wonder why some are expecting a low turnout. Which is what the opponents of MMP are hoping for.

We can't let that happen. If there were minority parties besides the Old Guard, kids and seniors would be a top priority, not the lowest. We need MMP.

Vote for this post at Progressive Bloggers.

No comments: