Recently Food Bank Canada reported that more than 882,000 Canadians used a food bank in March 2012, which is up 2.4 per cent from last year. As a matter of fact, food bank usage is up 31 per cent since the start of the 2008 recession. Similarly, the study found prepared meals also jumped 23 per cent from last year. What is especially concerning is that there is a growing number of Canadians that need help that are actually working, but because of their wages not keeping pace with cost of living more and more are going to food banks to make up for the difference.
What should be concerning to Canadians is the condition that the Middle Class has been shrinking in the last decade. The fact that fewer and fewer Canadians are enjoying a comfortable living is a concern in itself, but if we consider that the Middle Class significantly contribute to food banks we have to be very concerned with the future sustainability of food banks. If the Middle Class is shrinking in numbers and in affluence the amount of contributions will soon or later drop. We have seen this same phenomenon with Global Disasters. The public may be able to help in a disaster or two in one year, but there is a limit to how much disposable income the Middle Class has. If too many events happen, where will the money come from to feed our poor after much is given to global relief.
The point is, where will the intersection be, where Canadians can still help their fellow Canadians and where Canadians will not be able to help the growing number of Canadians with needs. We need to step away from the treadmill that we are on to evaluate the path we are traveling and reassess how to get onto a better path.
For sake of discussion, I will only give one suggestion. It has been our Conservative and Liberal Governments that have brought us here with their Free Trade / Globalization policy. Their leaders held Canada on that path within the tight framework of our controlling Parliamentary System of government. Perhaps it is time for us to elect Independents to Government that will respond more to the needs of the 2 lower classes of Canadians. Our Corporations control the Canadian political agenda and policy, therefore only Independents can pull back away from the edge.