For immediate release
October 18, 2007

Klees: Find Common Ground to Fight Poverty

(Newmarket-Aurora) MPP Frank Klees called on all levels of government and the business community to develope a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy for York Region.

Speaking on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty at a rally held at Newmarket's Fairy Lake, Klees proposed that a Community Working Group be formed consisting of representatives from municipal, provincial and federal governments as well as the private sector. "The goal of the Community Working Group should be to develope a practical report for presentation to our municipal, provincial and federal governments and to the business community," said Klees. "I believe that such a combined effort on our part will take us beyond pronouncements to meaningful action on this important issue. Poverty is too often discussed and reported on at the 30,000 foot level – where we can make claims of progress without admitting that we are failing real people on the ground in our communities."

Klees committed to take an active role in the Working Group, acknowledging that the effects of poverty are far-reaching even in York Region where the poverty is assumed not to exist.

Those attending the rally heard personal stories of York Region residents whose lives are affected daily by the lack of adequate shelter, food and the most basic of medical and dental care, despite government sponsored programs.

"It is clear that people are falling through the social safety nets that are intended to protect the vulnerable in our communities," said Klees. "And we have a collective responsibility to identify how we can help people overcome the barriers in their lives that are keeping them from enjoying the very basics that most take for granted."

"We all have a common responsibility to help those in our communities who, through no fault of their own, cannot help themselves," said Klees. "That has always been a cornerstone of my own personal belief system and it has always been a principle that has informed my political perspective on social issues."

Klees expressed his gratitude to Tom Pearson and the Poverty Action for Change Coalition for organizing the event.

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For more information:

Frank Klees, MPP

905-509-8999

 

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