Happy October, everyone. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving doing things you enjoy with people you love. Today, I write to commemorate the Day for the Eradication of Poverty. So, what is it exactly? The Day for the Eradication of Poverty began in Paris, France in 1987 when 100,000 people gathered in the streets to pay their respects to those suffering due to poverty, hunger, and the violence and fear that stems from those living conditions. During this celebration, a stone, created by a man named Joseph Wreninski, that would soon be replicated in 53 different locations worldwide was unveiled. The stone reads: “Wherever men and women are condemned to live in extreme poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty.”
Thirty-eight years later, these words remain true and hit closer to home than ever. In 2020, we watched the world stop turning when the Covid-19 Pandemic took over the planet. Businesses big and small were forced to close temporarily or shut down entirely, and many people had no choice but to stop working and stay home to protect their fellow civilians. Today, I honour each and every human being across the globe who was impacted by this devastating loss of income causing, “between 71 to 100 million people,” to be pushed into poverty. Tragically, “this number is expected to rise between 143 and 163 million,” this year. In a world where resources are abundant, this is abhorrent – and I will not stand for it. Did you know that 21.7% of the population here, in Beaches-East York, lives in poverty? That means 1 in every 5 people you and I pass on the street is suffering due to impoverished living conditions every single day. This might be a bit jarring to read given the way Beaches-East York looks from the outside, and I understand that. The truth is that our community is one where there are large economic divides – many who live here earn a wonderful living, and many who live here do not. In our pocket of Toronto where beauty and camaraderie are overflowing, its heart-breaking that so many are living their lives in fear of not being able to pay their bills, put food on the table, or afford basic things like medicine and clothing. That’s why I, and the Green Party of Ontario, have a plan to improve the living conditions of every single person living in the Beaches-East York riding.
It includes a guaranteed liveable income, or what some call a universal basic income which will ensure no one slips through the cracks & a real plan to address the housing affordability crisis as can be seen here that will ensure every single Ontarian has a roof over their head because housing is a human right. Today, on the Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and every other day, I acknowledge the hardships that every person experiencing poverty worldwide, but especially here in Beaches-East York, goes through, and I promise to continue my work to eradicate these inhumane living conditions that no human being should ever have to experience. All my best, Abhijeet. Learn more about our Affordable Housing and Guaranteed Liveable Income plans here: https://www.abhijeetmanay.com/campaign.