Conservatives Shrug off Senate Poverty Plan

September 30, 2010, 1:39 PM EST

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Ten years after the government's self-imposed deadline to eliminate child poverty, the Harper government has turned a cold shoulder to a comprehensive senate program aimed at eradicating poverty and forging a national strategy to deal with housing and homelessness.

The 300-page report entitled In From the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness initiated by a Senate sub-committee on cities and released in December 2009 offered 74 concrete recommendations to the federal government, including the establishment of a core poverty eradication goal, an increase to the National Child Benefit, a boost to the Working Income Tax Benefit and a federal minimum wage increase to $10 per hour that is also indexed to inflation.

In a formal response to the report issued on September 27, the Conservative government refused to adopt any of the recommendations and instead offered to "take the committee's recommendations under advisement."

"The Harper government's refusal to take seriously the goal of eliminating poverty, once and for all, and reluctance to meaningfully help those most vulnerable in Canada continues to be a black mark on our nation," said CAW President Ken Lewenza.


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