Thursday, December 8, 2011 | Categories: Interview Panel
We continued our call-in in this last half hour of our program to listen to more of your stories on what it's like to be poor in Canada. Anna Maria was joined in studio by poet Lorna Crozier and Rob Rainer, the Executive Director of Canada Without Poverty.
In each time zone we were able to talk to the following people to find our what their province is doing about poverty and helping the poor in need.
Atlantic Time Zone
Denise Peterson-Rafuse is Nova Scotia's Minister of Community Services. She was in Halifax.
In the town of New Waterford on Cape Breton Island, coal and steel were the town's major industries for decades. The last coal mine closed in 2001. Since then, the community of New Waterford continues to struggle with high unemployment. Ma's Soup Kitchen is a place where people living in poverty can go for a sandwich and a coffee. Tracy Wiswell visited Ma's for food and company nearly everyday.
Eastern Time Zone
Doctor Eric Hoskins is Ontario's Minister of Children and Youth services. He was in Toronto.
Iris Evans is 27 and she lives in London Ontario, where she gets help from My Sister's Place, a drop in centre for homeless women and women at risk. We heard from her.
When Nadia Edwards arrived in Toronto from St. Lucia, the single mom struggled to provide her kids with food. Then a friend told her about The Stop, a community food centre in Toronto that offers food hampers, lunches and social programs. She shared her story with us over lunch at The Stop.
Central Time Zone
Gord Mackintosh is Manitoba's Minister of Family Services and Consumer Affairs. He was in Winnipeg.
Last year the Christmas Cheer Board in Winnipeg gave out nearly 20,000 hampers to people in need. This year, people were lining up again for a donation. We heard from people picking up hampers full of food and Christmas presents courtesy of the Christmas Cheer Board in Winnipeg.
Mountain Time Zone
Dave Hancock is Alberta's Minister of Human Services. He was in Edmonton.
Pacific Time Zone
Mary McNeil, the BC Minister of Children and Family Development and Stephanie Cadieux, the Minister of Social Development, were both unable to join us this morning because of previous commitments. But we were able to speak to Adrian Dix, the Leader of the opposition BC NDP.
Dental health is often a frill for people with limited income. Liz-Ann Munro-Lamarre runs an independent dental hygiene clinic in downtown Salmon Arm, BC. Many of her clients are on income assistance and she gives them a break when it comes to paying their bills. Lynn is a single mom living in Salmon Arm, BC.
Last Word - Quarantine Poem
Thanks for sharing your stories with us today. The last word today went to Lorna Crozier with a story and a poem that touched her.
The poem is called Quarantine by the Irish poet Eavan Boland.