Sunday, December 22, 2013

Conservative cabinet minister James Moore: Hungry children not government’s job ....unless the public gets outraged

Minister Moore's Merry Christmas to Hungry Kids - and His Less Than Heartfelt Apology Afterwards 
Conservative Industry Minister James Moore

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Vancouver /The Tyee column

Tuesday December 17, 2013

By Bill Tieleman

Children living in poverty need help, not heartless cabinet ministers who later apologize.

"The government says it's my job to feed my neighbour's child? I don't think so." -- Conservative Industry Minister James Moore, Dec. 13
Breathtaking arrogance. Callous disregard for the poor. Stunning ignorance about poverty.
Coming from someone adamantly refusing to give a dime to charity for hungry children, it would be shameful and disturbing.
But when a federal government cabinet minister makes such an offensive statement just days before Christmas, it almost defies belief.
Yet that's what James Moore, British Columbia's senior minister in the Conservative government, said Friday in response to questions about child poverty from radio station News 1130.
By Monday, outrage forced Moore to retreat: "An apology. The cause of fighting poverty is not helped by comments like those I made last week. I am sorry."
And so Moore should be!
But on Twitter Sunday, the Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam MP was claiming: "It is a ridiculous 'story' that completely takes a comment out of context."
Really? Not based on what else Moore said in the same interview, with full audio available online.
When questioned why one in seven children in Canada still live in poverty -- 967,000 hungry kids, according to advocacy group Campaign 2000 -- and why the Conservatives have no child poverty plan, Moore responded dismissively.
"Certainly we want to make sure that kids go to school full bellied, but is that always the government's job to be there to serve people their breakfast?" Moore asked reporters.
And then the kicker: "The government says it's my job to feed my neighbour's child? I don't think so" -- followed by a clearly audible laugh from Moore.
Actually minister, it is the government's job to make sure kids don't go hungry. In fact, it's awfully hard to see what role is more important. And B.C. has the worst child poverty rate in Canada, at 18.5 per cent.
Moore's dreamland
Social media users exploded in outrage at Moore's comments Sunday.
Perhaps that's why on Monday morning Moore changed his tune to: "All levels of government, indeed all members of our society, have a responsibility to be compassionate and care for those in need."
Because before then, Moore obviously still believed it's a wonderful life in Canada.
"There's no question prosperity is up, unemployment is down in every region, more Canadians are working than ever before," Moore claimed.
That's great news, except for the 1,325,000 Canadians who didn't have a job in November -- an unacceptable unemployment rate of 6.9 per cent -- or the 8,000 British Columbians who lost jobs last month.
And fewer jobs are being created in 2013 than in 2012, so things are getting worse, not better. Statistics Canada says job creation in Canada averaged 13,400 per month in 2013, about half the average 25,400 jobs from January to November in 2012.
Nor will it make young workers aged 15 to 24 feel better, because they have a 13.4 per cent jobless rate and saw 26,000 jobs disappear in November.
But Moore still boasted on Friday: "We've never been wealthier as a country than we are right now. Never been wealthier."
Perhaps Moore was simply thinking of himself, because he makes a lot of money: $160,200 as a Member of Parliament plus another $76,700 as a federal cabinet minister for a total of $236,900 a year. Not to mention his gold-plated pension worth millions in retirement.
But if it wasn't public outrage over the weekend that convinced Moore he and his government actually do have some responsibility for "feeding my neighbour's child," maybe he read the Bible.
As Jesus Christ said: "You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."
Hungry children need help, not heartless cabinet ministers.



Anonymous said...

So Bill what does Mulcair receive on top of his MP's salary?

This is old news. People told Moore of his stupid comment, he apologized, Canadians accepted it and have moved on.

e.a.f. said...

Hi Anonymous, /this Canadian HAS NOT ACCEPTED it or moved on. You see together a group of us "adopted' 2 families for Christmas. There is a real need out there. Parents do not have the money to purchase gifts for their children or the usual festive foods. JUST CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL FOOD BANK.

of course there will be those who say, well don't have children. Not everyone starts out not having money. For some there is illness which prevents them from working. Some had deaths and divorces. You know the list goes on. However, even if the parents decided they just weren't going to feed their kid because they wanted the money for the ever expanding casinos, SOCIETY HAS AN OBLIGATION TO FEED HUNGRY CHILDREN. NOW IT CAN BE DONE BY THE VARIOUS LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT PAYING FOR IT, OR LEFT TO INDIVIDUALS, BUT CHILDREN MUST BE FEED.

There is no future for a country where the children go hungry. Of course people like Moore don't care, HE'S got his and that is all that matters. He is just another con. much like the CEO of Canada Post who goes around saying seniors want to walk to the new mail boxes during Canadian winters with snow and ice and a good chance of falling and breaking bones.

Oh, and Mulcair does receive extra salary for being the Leader of the OPPOSITION. However, he isn't the idiot going around making the comments Moore is. Moore is just so marie anntointee, prior to her head being removed
Trudeau the younger was so much smarter than Moore, Trudeau was with a group handing out free food in the DTES. he didn't have to say anything. Come election time, they just have to show a picture of the kid,slim, handing out food and one of Moore, a tad over feed, and quoting him. Guess who wins most people's votes.

Anonymous said...

Actually, it is our responsibility to feed our neighbour's child. I was offended by Moore's callous comments. Where I come from, you are supposed to reach out and help others. Always. No matter what. If memory serves, it's some kind of weird Christian thing. It's also just good morals. Thanks for the article, Bill.

Anonymous said...

You are supposed to help those with a hand up, not a hand out. The Left seems to want to always give hand outs.

Rather than yelling constantly, get out there and feed a child. and Bill, why not hire an extra person even for part time? Not for this hobby blog of yours, but for your labour PR communications Weststar Communications. Hire a communications student. Hire someone who has promise and better writing skills than some of the contributors here.

The NDP has advocated no poverty and no unemployment neither are going to happen. We do need government to provide for a good economic environment so people can get a decent living and feed their kids much better. That will feed the neighbourhood kids, not some yellfest on a blog that's obviously left wing and reactive not proactive.

Bill Tieleman said...

God you are repetitive and tedious, Anon 8:45 !!! Why don't you try out some new lines!

Anonymous said...

Bill why don't you try some new stories and for once try to keep up with current events. The Moore incident was last week.

Some of the left wing contributors are getting tedious in their endless whining.

But that's good. Bill's an expert on BC Fine Whines.

Anonymous said...

I find that I'm offended by most conservatives, sorry...neocons.

After the next election, I'm going to be offended by most Liberals, sorry...neoliberals.

Anonymous said...

After the next election there's going to be constant complaining by those who do nothing but complain all the time.

Bill will have a well stocked whine cellar.