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'No tax cuts, but spend wisely': Voter values social programs, especially those for children [CA]

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Read, Nicholas
Publication Date: 
26 May 2004

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At age 39, children's librarian Vicki Donoghue admits a little sheepishly that "fiscal responsibility" is something that matters to her now.

But that said, "the low-tax guys" are "definitely" not getting her vote either, because she worries about what programs they would sacrifice to pay for those cuts. Donoghue is happy to pay taxes, she says, as long as the revenue from them is spent responsibly.

"I just want my taxes to be well managed."

And for Donoghue, that means spending them on social programs, and particularly programs that benefit children.

What irks her is seeing massive government reports written on, well, you name it, when "the money for those reports could have been spent on buying hot lunches for children."

Not that she buys into the creed of some politicians who, she says, believe in helping children without recognizing that their parents need help. "You can't get anywhere without helping the parents, too."

Because in her mind, it's a crisis. According to Statistics Canada, in 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available, more than 15 per cent of Canadians 18 years old and under were poor. And that's 15 per cent too many for Donoghue.

Thus, she will be paying careful attention in the next 32 days to learn what each of the candidates, both at a leadership and local level, have to say about poverty and what they plan to do about it.

What she's looking for is someone who has a strong platform and has "has something to say about something."

- reprinted from the Vancouver Sun