Tory Minister Expresses Tory View, Shock and Horror Ensue

- December 16th, 2013

Industry Minister James Moore drew ire this weekend after comments to the effect that it’s not his problem how other Canadians manage their lives.

Apropos of news that British Columbia maintains the highest levels of child poverty in the country, a reporter for Vancouver’s News 1130 asked Moore whether Ottawa has any responsibility for this epidemic.

“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?” Moore responded. “Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so.”

Outrage ensued. The Twittersphere called him the Grinch, among other things. Child poverty watch groups want him to apologize.

For his part, Moore claims to have been quoted out of context. Whatever the context his comments were intended to be taken in would be met with great interest, though none of us are holding our breath.

However lacking in compassion Moore’s comments may have come across, they should be of surprise to absolutely no one.

How could anyone with a remotely working knowledge of political ideologies in Canada be shocked to hear a Conservative express what is an entirely predictable Conservative view?

It is no secret that Conservatives tend to see charity as an act up to the individual, not something over which they see the government as having any responsibility.

By definition, Conservatives believe the role of government should be kept to a bare minimum. Anyone having a hard time is on their own, likely victim only of their own poor choices.

The undoing of the social safety net is a point of pride for these Tories. Whether it’s Employment Insurance, CPP or any other program designed with the idea that by helping each other, we help ourselves, Tories see these initiatives as things that develop dependencies among Canadians. Not things that help.

If Moore’s comments are a departure at all, they are only inasmuch as they were perhaps more blunt than the doublespeak Canadians usually hear from this government.

No, Moore’s belief that neither he nor his government have any responsibility in alleviating child poverty is not especially compassionate. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise either.

UPDATE: Moore apologized just before 1pm Monday on Twitter, saying: “An apology. The cause of fighting poverty is not helped by comments like those I made last week. I am sorry.”



Categories: Conservatives, Economy, General, Government, Politics, Social issues

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  1. Pat Davis says:

    Dear Jennifer,

    That social programs are the responsibility of and delivered by the provinces is a view enshrined in our constitution – that was a Liberal idealogy

  2. Blake Dunlop says:

    You outlined the true, cold, callous, uncaring selfish philosophy of right-wingers very well.

    I prefer the opposing view of society, the one expressed in the Scriptures – the same Scriptures that these Tory “men of faith” proclaim to have read & believe in. Ah, but they must have read different Scriptures than I did!

  3. David Broughall says:

    Charity may begin at home, but it doesn’t end there.

  4. Jake says:

    IMO, basic healthcare and a basic safety net- read: food and shelter- should be cornerstones of any reasonable and just society. At the same time, so should freedom to choose.

    That freedom to choose includes the freedom to choose how and where people spend the fruits of their labour. Redistribution of wealth via government programs is likely the most ineffecient/wasteful means of doing so.

    You need food? No problem; here’s some food.
    You need shelter? No problem; here’s some housing.
    You need healthcare? No problem; there’s the free clinic and there’s the ER.

    You need anything else? Go get a job like the rest of us slobs.

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