Advocating for a better world for all
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This article was published 29/11/2021 (548 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The House of Commons has resumed sitting in Ottawa and I am ready to continue advocating for Winnipeg Centre.
In addition to being the NDP critic for children, families, and social development, I am now the NDP critic for women and gender equality, as well as the deputy critic for housing. I am committed to pushing for the creation of systems that advance rights and ensure that all individuals in our community have what they need to thrive and not just survive.
This includes many children in Winnipeg Centre who are forced to live in poverty as a result of inadequate political will to ensure their human rights are upheld.
In honour of the National Day of the Child, which was Nov. 20, I wish to highlight the ongoing struggles that many children face in our community and throughout Canada.
According to Campaign 2000, 28.3 per cent of children in Manitoba live in poverty. This is the second-highest child poverty rate in Canada and is shockingly 10.1 per cent above the national average.
Unfortunately, some of the highest rates of child poverty are experienced by children in Winnipeg Centre, which has the second-highest poverty rate of all federal ridings. This is unacceptable. While it continues to not be the case, we must ensure that the rights of all children are upheld and consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Also disturbing is that, while we are still in the fourth wave of a pandemic, the federal government continues to punish individuals and families for accessing emergency pandemic support. It is no secret that families bore additional food and utility costs to enable their children to learn remotely. Instead of going after big corporations who profited immensely during the pandemic, the government has chosen to claw back the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) from families in need.
This is why I have called for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) repayment amnesty for low-income families and will continue to do so in this next session of parliament.
As work in the House of Commons resumes, I commit to working alongside children, families, and youth-serving organizations to advance the rights of the child.This includes advocating for changes to the CCB to ensure that all children have access, including families with irregular immigration status.
In addition, I will continue to be a strong advocate for a guaranteed liveable basic income (GLBI), push for greater investments into affordable, accessible housing with rent geared to income, and hold the government accountable to implement a national, accessible, culturally relevant, and publicly funded child care program.
Alongside our dynamic community, I am ready to advocate for a better world for all this session. Let the work begin.
Winnipeg Centre constituency report
Leah Gazan is the NDP Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre.