Canadian Union of Public Employees President Paul Moist says a new report from Food Banks Canada confirms what he has seen in communities across Canada over the last year – it’s getting a lot harder to make ends meet.
“As Canada’s largest union, we’ve seen what has happened to working people since the recession began. The past year has brought massive job losses, an uncertain future for our pensioners, and now we’ve learned that 18 per cent more Canadians require food bank assistance,” said Moist.
The HungerCount 2009 report says the recession has left a diminished job market that is failing to support an increasing number of Canadians, leading to the largest year-over-year increase in food bank assistance on record.
“Canada can weather a recession – we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. But the HungerCount report shows us that if we don’t invest in sufficient social supports, people will fall through the cracks,” said Moist.
“It’s time for our federal government to show leadership. It costs far less to invest in employment insurance, pensions and a federal poverty reduction strategy than it will cost to reverse the years of damage created by letting people fall below the poverty line.”
“From job losses to food bank use, the numbers send a clear message: there are an increasing number of vulnerable Canadians who need help now,” said Moist. “What more is it going to take for the federal government to act?”