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Green Party of Canada

| Election, Mental health, Poverty

Teachers are usually the first to know. A hungry child that can’t focus on their lesson plan. A student struggling with depression, falling through the cracks in our mental health care system. Teachers know that poverty and mental illness are powerful forces in Canadian life because they see their effects in the classroom every day.

This election, the Green Party of Canada wants to put children’s rights on the agenda. It’s time to honour the commitment we made to our children when we pledged to end child poverty, over 25 years ago.

We are proposing a number of bold initiatives to address the problems facing our children head-on. We are proposing a Guaranteed Liveable Income to guarantee that no family falls below the poverty line. We will develop a National Housing Strategy to ensure that every family has access to the housing they need. We will invest $1 billon over five years in a federally funded, community-guided school lunch program across Canada to make sure that our children have daily access to healthy local food, and are able to focus fully on their education. We are committed to a high-quality, universal, federally-funded child care program. We will extend the mandate of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) for another ten years to maintain a focus on the mental health of youth. For post-secondary students, we will make the elimination of student debt a national priority.

Elizabeth May visit Sir James Douglas Elementary School

We will deal directly with the unique problems facing Aboriginal children by implementing all the “Calls to Action” of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that are within federal jurisdiction. Greens will also restore the landmark Kelowna Accord, and the corresponding $5.1 billion commitment, to improve education, housing, health care, employment, and living conditions for Aboriginal peoples in Canada. We will also remove the 2% cap on funding for Aboriginal education.

The Green Party will also call for the appointment of a Children’s Commissioner as an officer of Parliament to speak up for children on a national stage. A Children’s Commissioner would ensure that Canada fulfills our commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, including the elimination of child poverty.

As a country, we need to focus our policies on the unique needs and rights of children. Let’s make that an election issue.

Parties provided both English and French articles. These have been reproduced exactly as they were submitted.

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