LETTER: Charity must come with justice

Justice means each person in our society will receive a fair opportunity to live and thrive.

Re: Poverty knocking at the door (Our View, Jan. 21)

I commend the Victoria News for clearly recognizing the situation in our community: “more and more people appear to be falling through society’s cracks.”

The gaps in our social safety net are evident, and it seems the net itself is woven from barbed wire.

Charity, in the form of donations and volunteerism, is so much needed and appreciated by social services agencies (and the people who rely on them).

However, we won’t see a change in the situation unless charity is accompanied by justice. By this, I mean that our society must rethink how wealth is distributed and controlled by a lucky few, while many others struggle to get by.

In addition to the charity that Victoria residents give so generously, we need to see a demand to all levels of government for a poverty reduction strategy.

Policies on social assistance rates, affordable housing, mental health supports, early childhood development, health care, education … this list could go on.

It is time for government policy to stop chasing economic growth at any cost and start favouring the wellbeing of all people. There are roles to play for all levels of government, and it is time that voters demanded change.

Justice means each person in our society will receive a fair opportunity to live and thrive. Justice cannot be replaced by charity, but charity must serve in its place for now.

Susan Low, Esquimalt