James Moore apologizes for child poverty comment

Jessica Hume, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:54 PM ET

OTTAWA — Industry Minister James Moore has apologized for controversial comments he made over the weekend suggesting the federal government has no responsibility for addressing child poverty.

The comments were made when a reporter for Vancouver's News 1130 asked Moore, in light of a report showing B.C. has the highest levels of child poverty in the country, whether the feds have a role in finding a solution.

"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."

Ontario's minister for children said alleviating child poverty is a "sure path to prosperity."

"This should not only be a provincial priority, but should be federal as well," Teresa Piruzza told QMI Agency. "We have consistently called on the federal government to be engaged partners in our efforts to reduce poverty in Ontario."

In his apology posted on his website Monday, Moore said: "I made an insensitive comment that I deeply.

"I know the cause of fighting poverty is not helped by comments like those I made last week. For that, I am sorry."

The NDP critic for social development, Jinny Sims, said despite the apology, Moore's comments were entirely in keeping with Tory ideology.

"It's not only his comments that didn't help the cause, but his government's policies actually added to an increase in child poverty in Canada."


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