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• His work with Artists for Peace and Justice
• UN Ambassadorship for The World Food Programme
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
The Vote Out Poverty night
The evening was interspersed with videos, live music and politicians. The highlight of the evening was an amazing speech by Stephen Lewis.
This is the the program for the evening.
Then Ontario's political leaders were invited to speak for 3 minutes about what they would do to end poverty. Only one of the party leaders came up to speak, Howard Hampton of the NDP the other speakers were there as proxy for the other leaders. Green Party was a no show.
Jack Layton and Ken Dryden were also given the microphone for a minute. Mary Walsh kept them in line.
After the political fun The Hidden Cameras played.
Videos vignettes interspersed the entertainment with messages from people who live in poverty in Ontario.
The videos were produced by Deveaux-Babin Productions with help from Ryerson's Film and Television program.
The numbers of poor living in one of the richest provinces in Canada is shameful as the crowd kept chanting to reminding all the politicians and media who would listen...
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings also played some rockin' guitar.
In the second half of the evening George Stroumboulopoulos came on stage. He was there to introduce the most anticipated speaker of the evening. Even though G was in obvious pain he did an amazing job on the intro.
The crowd gave Stephen Lewis a standing ovation at the beginning and at the end of his speech.
Stephen Lewis spoke and everyone was totally enthralled. He talked about what we (as a nation) have committed to the world for poverty issues, and how far short we have come to those targets... or the fact that Canada has refused to even naming what we will contribute in future projects.
He talked about the studies done in Ontario about the disparity between the rich and the poor and how the gap has only grown.
He is an eloquent and passionate speaker and I wish he would address Parliament and Queen's Park once in awhile to remind them of their obligations to humanity.
Susan Aglukark did the closing songs for the most unique evening and date I have ever been on.
There is something so romantic about a political rally.
I can relate very well to the issues of living in poverty in the GTA . Choosing between paying the rent and buying food... pay the rent of course, it helps me keep thin. Many of the people I know count on overdraft and if they are lucky credit cards to get them through the month. I am sure the Banks love that. One paycheck missed is a crisis. I can only imagine how much harder it is for those who don't get a paycheck. That's all I am saying before I get more political than that...
and if you can Vote Out Poverty!