It takes a village

James Moore’s comments should inspire us all to look out for the needy

Chris Hearn, volunteer staff

According to a statement made in mid-December by Canada’s Industry Minister James Moore, it is not the federal government’s job to feed hungry children.

What? Come again?

No, sir. That is exactly what the job of the federal government is. A government is supposed to work for the people, and that includes hungry children. What is the point of a government that abandons its most needy? Apparently, starving kids are not a priority for James Moore.

Oh, but wait… he apologized: “Caring for each other is a Canadian ethic that I strongly believe in – always have and always will. Of course poverty is an issue that concerns me, and concerns all Canadians. All levels of government, indeed all members of our society, have a responsibility to be compassionate and care for those in need.”

So why was his initial statement the complete opposite of this?

Disingenuous apologies after painful and scary statements don’t cut it. This slickly written, nationalistic, scripted apology is not an actual apology. It is covering up for a statement that seems to be reflective of the current government as they slash and burn many of our safety nets and beloved institutions.

However, this case does lead nicely into another issue I believe is important to look at: Our societal need to demand some kind of apology from said person and then roundly criticize said apology. Even I felt the need to criticize his apology in this article.

Face it, it doesn’t matter what Moore says in response to the controversy; it isn’t going to make people happy or change a single thing. Why do we do this, then? He said what he said; let’s use it as a catalyst for discussion without demanding anything more from him.

If we get rid of this demand for an apology we won’t accept, here’s what we should do instead. We have to take care of each other. If there are politicians who get in the way of that happening, we get rid of them. The government is for us. That’s what it is supposed to be. It represents us. We are the bosses. Let’s act like the bosses we are.

In addition, we should start adopting the “it takes a village to raise a child” ideology and take it upon ourselves to also fulfill this commitment to our neighbours. Yes, our government is essential in making sure all in the country have at least some level of support, aren’t going hungry, aren’t completely forgotten, and aren’t left out in the cold. We must tell our government that this is indeed what we want. And we have to show our commitment to this by being the good people we can be to one another.

It’s okay to be mad at James Moore. He truly did say a stupid thing. But let’s use the stupid thing he said to make things better. Let’s take his statement, learn from it, build on it, and not wallow in the negativity.

A new year, a new approach?