Declaring that all of us are vulnerable to changing life circumstances, Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell says we can “absolutely” end poverty as we know it if we choose to do so. Dowdeswell was making her first-ever trip to Kawartha Lakes and met with Mayor Andy Letham, as well as local Federal MP Jamie Schmale, a number of councillors, business people, and other community leaders, to talk about tourism.
In a scrum with reporters at the event, The Advocate asked if she thought poverty was a social construction and something we can virtually eliminate if we choose.
“Absolutely,” she said.
“We’re all vulnerable to change and…people can get left behind.”
Dowdeswell says she was always struck by the need for food banks, for instance, in a nation of such abundance, especially in agriculture.
Lieutenant Governors have always chosen areas of focus when they are appointed to the Office. Dowdeswell’s areas of focus are inclusive economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and social cohesion. On the website of Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell it reads:
“Ontarians are fortunate to live in a comparatively prosperous country in which a vast majority of the population has seen rising standards of living over the past 150 years. Yet not all have benefitted from equal access to prosperity, notably Indigenous people, racialized persons, women, and people employed in traditional economic sectors.”
As well, her website notes that:
“The concept of inclusive prosperity understands that resources are not always fairly distributed in today’s complex and changing world, and recognizes that economic uncertainty has a social cost and that the road to prosperity may be different depending on one’s lived experience, community, or region. It challenges Ontarians to consider the sources of future prosperity and the ways in which as many people as possible have a chance to meaningfully participate in economic and social spheres.”
After Dowdeswell met with the local group of politicians and community leaders to discuss tourism, she was to board a boat for a short tour through Lock 32 in Bobcaygeon.