More talk before more action

More talk is the action MLAs will be taking on child poverty - at least for now. Today, children and youth representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond recommended the legislature's select standing committee on children and youth lay the groundwork for a poverty reduction plan to address this issue. And she further recommended the striking of a subcommittee for that very task. All of which seemed to catch committee chair Joane MacIntyre by surprise. "I would like the opportunity to discuss this with the deputy chair and, obviously, take seriously your request. We'll have to discuss this and come up with some sort of a plan of action or some formal response," she said, prompting New Democrat MLA Nicholas Simons to leap to defence of that proposal.

"I think it would be inappropriate to put off a decision just simply to strike a subcommittee that will have responsibility to look at the issues of child poverty," he fumed. "It is our responsibility as a committee to discuss this, to suss it out. I don't want to leave it simply to another time."

But Mr. Simons's opinion didn't seem to be shared by his caucus mates, with committee vice-chair Maurine Karagianis siding with Ms. MacIntyre.

And then came this recommendation from New Democrat attorney general critic Leonard Krog: "I would respectfully suggest that the proposal of the chair and the vice-chair, to which there appears to be agreement - to consider the content of this committee, its terms of reference - would be the appropriate way to proceed."

"Thank you," Ms. MacIntyre responded. "With that, I'm assuming we're in agreement that that's where we'll move on."

With the rest of the committee against him, Mr. Simons gave up his fight with on this cautionary note: "I'm hoping that we all know what action is going to be taken."

But, following that meeting, Ms. Karagianis assured reporters there was a "tacit agreement on the recommendation by the children's representative that a subcommittee will take action on a child poverty initiative. That's the way I'm taking it in the spirit of the conversation today."

1 Comment

With the "she said she said" battle raging between the Minister and the Representative, it's good to see that the Committee, and in particular the Vice-Chair and her New Democrat colleagues, are ready to get down to work and fix this Government's child poverty problem.

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