Poor No More

A still from the documentary Poor No More. (Deveaux Babin Productions)

By Taylor Lew, G20 citizen blogger

I wTaylo Lew52.jpgasn't quite sure what to expect as I walked downstairs into the Toronto Underground Cinema at 186 Spadina. There was a very somber mood in the theatre and only about 15 people were there to see the film. I most certainly did not expect this film to move me the way it did.
Poor No More is a film about the plight of the working poor in Canada. For me, the most compelling story was that of Vicki Baieron. Despite having worked 12 years at her job, she still had part-time employee status and was forced to take 10 weeks unpaid leave when her daughter needed to have a kidney transplant. Then, when Vicki was diagnosed with breast cancer, she had to schedule chemotherapy treatments on her breaks just to bring in a paycheck. 

Host Mary Walsh accompanies Baieron on a voyage to discover how policies such as free child care and free education have reduced poverty in Ireland and Sweden. I watched in disbelief as young Swedes happily said, "We love taxes!" in reference to the many social services offered in their country. 

This documentary was shocking for me because I honestly didn't know that Canada had such severe poverty issues. I had no idea that Canadian companies could be so ruthless by suppressing workers under part-time work status to avoid having to give them full-time benefits. 

This is why executive producer David Langille has said the goal of the film is to inspire people to educate themselves about poverty and to take a stand by joining social movements to advocate on behalf of these issues. The film calls for a change in our values.  What is really important to us? Are we always in it for ourselves or are we capable of wanting success for others?  This film should be seen by everyone because it provides hope for the latter.

To find out more visit www.poornomore.ca 

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