Kapuskasing – During a constituency appreciation barbecue/food bank fundraiser, Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes and Timmins-James Bay MPP Gilles Bisson called upon the federal and provincial governments to take action on the increasing prevalence of people living in poverty.

Non-perishable food items and monetary donations were collected in support of the local food bank.

“We appreciate all of the good will and support from the people of Kapuskasing who were so generously supported the food bank” said Bisson.

“It’s unfortunate that we have had significant increases over the years in the use of food banks, a direct result of the inaction of the Harper government, as well as previous Liberal and Conservative governments, who failed to recognize the challenges of Canadians living in poverty” said Hughes. She added that "It's obvious that Canadians can't rely on Ignatieff Liberals to address this issue either, given that the Liberals continue to rubber stamp the Conservative agenda". The liberals have supported Stephen Harper’s policies with 108 confidence votes.

A 2007-2009 report commissioned by Citizens for Public Justice shows 3.9 million Canadians were living in poverty. This means that there was an increase of 900,000 people since 2007, including 160,000 children, and a quarter of a million seniors. "The fact that half of the people who were unemployed in 2009 did not qualify for Employment Insurance benefit they paid into certainly added to these numbers" Hughes said.

“There are far too many people who are struggling, not only in Northern Ontario, but across the province,” said Bisson. “The McGuinty Liberals have done very little to help make living more affordable to Ontarians. It's been a month since the HST was implemented by the Liberals and people are really starting to notice the pinch of his tax grab.” Bisson adds that "gas stations and store owners on the American side of the border are claiming that they have seen an increase in business since Ontario consumers are in line to gas up their vehicles.”

Hughes and Bisson believe it is extremely important to support organizations who assist those in need. They will be attending the Wild and Wet End of Summer celebration hosted by Moose FM in the Kapuskasing Circle. The event, which runs from 5 to 7 pm today, will raise funds in support of the Connexion Centre, an integral part of the community who assists those in need.