Federal industry minister James Moore faced harsh criticism over the weekend for choosing to mark the holiday season by channeling EbenezerScrooge when asked a question about child poverty.
“Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so.”
“We’ve never been wealthier as a country than we are right now. Never been wealthier.”
Predictably, after the comments were published by Vancouver’s News 1130, Moore took to Twitter to play the out of context, I’m a victim card:
Then the reporter posted the audio, which showed that, not only was the reporter not lying, the only context missing from the original story was Moore’s haughty laughter at the end:
At which time Moore tweets started disappearing from his Twitter stream.
Now, while heartless, uncaring and deserving of a Christmas Eve visit from three ghosts, one could argue that strictly speaking this is an issue for the provinces. I think there needs to be a federal role for a host of reasons, but a strict constructionist argument could be made -- as long as one ignores the moral obligation. And that, in fact, yes, it is your job to help a neighbor in need.
However, we’ve seen in the past that Minister Moore (who I’d actually seen as one of the more credible and reasonable members of the Conservative front bench until now) has no problem intruding into provincial responsibilities, such as telling provinces what they should teach in elementary and high school.
Federal Heritage Minister James Moore wants the teaching of Canadian history made mandatory in the country’s schools.
“Canada’s history is so rich and so brilliant, I would like to see all schools in Canada do [what you’re doing here],” said Mr. Moore, referring to the stress put on Canadian history at Stratford Hall.
Education is a pretty clear provincial responsibility, particularly K-12. But when it’s an issue he cares about, it seems jurisdictional issues mean little to James Moore. If only he cared as much about child poverty as he does about teaching history – maybe those kids would learn history a little better without an empty stomach.