One of the depressing aspects of the last few decades is the ease with which seemingly normal people walk obliviously past the aching pools of humanity spread out on our sidewalks.
At what point will people start looking up from their iPhones — at least momentarily — and think: Something must be done.
That moment should have come with the recent axing of Ontario’s “special diet allowance,” in which Dalton McGuinty’s government literally took food out of the mouths of hungry people, in the name of deficit reduction.
The elimination of the allowance in the recent provincial budget is really just the continuation of the assault on the incomes of the very poorest citizens that began with former premier Mike Harris’s 22 per cent cut in provincial welfare rates in 1995.
Despite a softer, more kindly demeanour, McGuinty has simply fine-tuned the cutback strategy, leaving today’s poor actually worse off than they were in the dark days of Harris.
This 15-year-long assault on the poor is now being ramped up as governments struggle with huge deficits caused by Wall Street’s reckless bash and the resulting global recession.