On August 18th, 2010, Tom Pearson (Chairman of Poverty Action for Change Coalition, and Make Poverty History York Region) met with the Honourable Bryon Wilfert MP from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, on behalf of Campaign 2000. The objective of Campaign 2000 is to “End Child and Family Poverty in Canada”, according to the following Campaign 2000 Declaration:

“We are committed to promoting and securing the full implementation of the House of Commons Resolution of November 24, 1989.” Commitment by National and Community Partners Campaign 2000, November 24, 1991.

Here is Tom Pearson’s recount of his meeting with The Honourable Bryon Wilfert MP from Richmond Hill:

“I was to be meeting The Honourable Bryon Wilfert MP with another who relies on wheel-trans to get around. When trying to book a ride, this person was told there were no rides available at that time because those early times are taken up by those who need medications, thus she could not go. I mention this because it’s another way those in poverty and reliant on public wheel-transport (in York Region) are often left out – such as in this case.

At any rate, we met on August 18th just the two of us (no assistant) and had a good discussion. I also received a letter the other day from his office following up on our meeting reiterating his positions..

I was impressed by his candor and knowledge. Having been a longtime municipal politician, MP Bryon Wilfert’s local knowledge was also good. He knew that 3 1/2 million people lived in poverty in Canada – seemed to have a grasp on poverty nationally as well.

The Honourable Bryon Wilfert MP supports a pan-Canadian conference on poverty (and a national poverty reduction strategy with measurable outcomes) which would include all levels of government and hear from those in poverty. He supports income supplements and a $10 national minimum wage and indexing it to the cost of living.

MP Bryon Wilfert mentioned:

  • only 4.6% of a billion dollar allotted for fixing housing has been accessed to date and
  • only 1.9% of $400 million for low-income seniors’ housing and
  • only 0.1% of $75 million for helping house those with disabilities.

MP Wilfert spoke of investing – not spending – mentioning that the only 12% of infrastructure spending actually created jobs.

He feels that the bill C-545 and C-304 are private members’ bills and are “feel good” bills.
MP Bryon Wilfert supports pension reform, pan-Canadian learning approach including early childhood, aboriginal, workforce literacy for newcomers, and access to higher education and training.

The Honourable Bryon Wilfert MP’s letter to me concluded by saying he looks forward to working with me on this issue in the future…let’s hope he means it.”

Tom Pearson
Chairman, Poverty Action for Change Coalition
Make Poverty History York Region

Contact info:

PACC (Poverty Action For Change Coalition)
Mailing address
21 Dunlop St. Suite
200 Richmond Hill, ON,

Phone: 905-836-7931
Toll Free: 1-888-365-5226

Media only call: 289-221-0928

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