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Child poverty watchdog blasts James Moore

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Industry Minister James Moore is taking plenty of criticism for comments he made to News1130 this weekend about a report that finds BC once again leads the country in child poverty.

In an interview with reporter Sara Norman, he was asked whether Ottawa has a responsibility to alleviate the problem.

He had this to say when asked about the growing number of children going to school hungry:

“Obviously, nobody wants kids to go to school hungry, but yeah, certainly we want to make sure that kids go to school with a full belly, but is that always the government’s job, to be there to serve people their breakfast? Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so.”

The group behind the BC Child Poverty Report Card finds those comments disappointing.

“He’s dismissive of the problem and he’s dismissive of his responsibility,” says Adrienne Montani, provincial coordinator of First Call.

She says Moore should get out more and meet struggling families.

Montani feels the federal government does in fact have a responsibility to reduce child poverty, first by crafting the appropriate policies.

“From housing to childcare, to raising the child tax benefit, to lowering barriers to get an education and training that will help you get a good job. All those things,” she explains.

“We’d like some national support for publicly-funded affordable child care and then of course, you have to look at the issue of wages.”

Reaction to our earlier story has blown up on social media as well, where #MooreChristmas has been trending on Twitter.