Budgets overlook poverty crisis

From what I hear, I’m not the only one who was disappointed with our recent federal and provincial budgets.

From what I hear, I’m not the only one who was disappointed with our recent federal and provincial budgets.

I suppose I should stop looking for government to help end poverty in our time, perhaps that’s a bit much to expect, but I had hoped that the folk we elect to help care for the least able among us might at least do no further harm. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

With food bank numbers doubling in our area, while the cost of housing is on the increase and even our local council is forced to put a cost on volunteering by introducing fees for criminal record checks, I believe it is well past time we found a way to respond right here, and right now.

I am very pleased that Jagrup Brar – a Surrey MLA with direct experience of poverty – is coming to Trail to help us figure out how to respond.

On April 10 at 5pm he’ll be speaking at Trail United Church (incidentally the home of one of our foodbanks, our emergency shelter and a monthly dinner program). He’ll talk about his experience of poverty, while others will speak about poverty in our area.

Together, we hope to begin a plan that can be adopted by our communities. A plan to end the harshest effects of poverty, as they are felt by our seniors, children and families.

Hopefully we can all take a moment to come together and figure out how to be a part of the solution. One neighbour at a time.

Keith Simmonds

Trail United Church