Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

STEPHEN HARPER ELIMINATES POVERTY IN CANADA

Posted by strattof on April 2, 2010

STEPHEN HARPER AT THE VIGIL

STEPHEN HARPER AT THE VIGIL

In a special televised broadcast, Prime Minister Harper announced yesterday that his government had eliminated poverty in Canada.  “It wasn’t all that difficult,” the Prime Minister said. “We just imagined Canada without poverty.” “Canada will be poverty-free,” he promised, “as long as the Conservative Party is in power.”

Mr. Harper thanked the members of his caucus for all their hard work on the anti-poverty file. He also struck out at the opposition Liberals, asking why they had done so little to overcome poverty during their thirteen year tenure in government.  

Send Stephen Harper a congratulatory message: pm@pm.gc.ca or 613-992-4211.

BETTER THAN OLYMPIC GOLD  

Messages of congratulations continue to pour into the Prime Minister’s office, one coming from US president Barack Obama, requesting a meeting with Harper so he can “learn from the Canadian experience.”  

For Canadians, it is a proud moment. While a number of wealthy nations have successfully implemented poverty reduction programs, Canada is the first country ever to eliminate poverty.

The Prime Minister voiced the sentiment of many Canadians when he said: “Eliminating poverty is even better than winning Olympic medals.”

HOW DID CANADA DO IT?

● The government established a federal minimum wage, set at $12 and indexed to inflation. 

● It restored EI eligibility requirements to 360 hours.

● It implemented a national affordable housing program with an annual budget of $2.5 billion.

● It removed the 2% cap on funding increases for the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs and indexed increases for First Nations programs to inflation and population growth, retroactive to 1996, the year the cap was introduced.    

● It increased the Canada Child Tax Benefit from $3,300 to $5,000. 

● It increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors from $7,831 to $10,000.

● It established a guaranteed income system for persons with disabilities.  

● It implemented a regulated, universal, publically-funded early learning and child care program.

A BLUE SWEATER DAY

Mr. Harper delivered the good-news message wearing his iconic blue sweater-vest. Initially Canadians viewed the sweater as a cynical ploy to soften Stephen Harper’s image. Recently, however, the blue sweater, along with its owner, has come to be identified with social justice initiatives.   

DIGNITY FOR ALL 

A former champion of free market policies, Mr. Harper was asked to explain his about face. “It was a long time coming,” he said, “but I finally found my inner Mother Theresa.”  

The Prime Minister also credited Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism with opening his eyes to “the real human costs of free market policies.” Finally, he paid tribute to the anti-poverty campaign Dignity For All.  So impressed was Mr. Harper by the work of this non-profit organization that he has hired its director as his economic advisor: http://www.dignityforall.ca

TWISTED ECONOMIC LOGIC

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation was quick to condemn the govern-ment’s anti-poverty legislation, citing increased budget deficits and tax hikes as predictable outcomes.

However, according to Mr. Harper, eliminating poverty will be relatively painless. It will be paid for in two ways: 1) by reversing the 2% cut to the GST, which will restore $10 billion annually to the national coffers; and 2) by slashing the annual $20 billion military budget by 50%, taking it back to 1980 levels.   

The Prime Minister referred to the views of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation as “twisted economic logic.” “In a nation with a total annual income of $1.6 trillion,” he asked rhetorically, “how can we not be able to eliminate poverty?”

Poverty is the worst form of violence. Mahatma Gandhi

MAKING PEACE VIGIL April 1 2010

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One Response to “STEPHEN HARPER ELIMINATES POVERTY IN CANADA”

  1. How odd to learn that poverty has been eliminated when I and many others like me, including children, cannot afford enough food to eat, warm winter clothes, or adequate housing and Stephen Harper has this to say:

    “In terms of the unemployed, of which we have over a million-and-a-half, I don’t feel particularly bad for many of these people.”
    ▪ Speaking in Montréal, 1997.

    When was it eliminated? Many of us seem to have missed that! Please, how do I find this alternate Canada universe?

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