House of Commons Debate
Statements by Members
December 8th, 2021 / 2:15 p.m.
Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC
Mr. Speaker, food bank use in Canada climbed 20% with the pandemic and topped 1.3 million monthly visits. It is the largest increase since the 2008 recession.
With the clawback of the GIS and the Canada child benefit, and the elimination of COVID emergency benefits, food banks face further increases in demand. Food banks alone do not solve hunger. They are a symptom of the root problem of poverty.
Who are the faces of poverty? They are families, women, seniors, people with disabilities and low-wage earners. They are our friends and our neighbours. Fixed income earners' buying power has been decimated and we can do something about it.
Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent received unanimous support for his motion in 1989 to eradicate child poverty by the year 2000. That was more than three decades ago. The Liberal government has a chance to address the affordability crisis with the fiscal update. A quaranteed livable basic income is the path forward.
Better is possible.