In response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s keynote address at the World Economic Forum this morning, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, Julie Delahanty, said:
"Prime Minister Trudeau just took to the world stage in Davos with a strong message to global leaders that today’s 'technological' revolution needs to benefit everyone. We agree. Technology on its own won’t improve lives; in fact it could lead to unemployment and greater inequality. And at Oxfam, we know that inequality is a crisis. In fact, Oxfam’s latest report shows how just sixty-two people now own as much wealth as half the world’s population.
"Here in Canada, income inequality is not yet the staggering problem that it is elsewhere in the world, but it would be a terrible mistake to assume that everything’s just fine. The gap between rich and poor in our country has widened substantially over the last 35 years.
"Prime Minister Trudeau took a big step in the right direction this morning, but he can – and must – do more during his time at the World Economic Forum to champion global issues that affect women’s rights, the empowerment of youth and the rights of the poor, and then turn these words into commitments at home," Delahanty added.
She specified that: "To truly tackle inequality and address extreme poverty, these commitments must include working with global leaders to end the era of tax havens, supporting women’s rights organizations and helping developing countries provide universal public services for all citizens — health and education in particular.
"In order for the 'Canadian Opportunity' to benefit all Canadians and bring about positive change in the world, we cannot forget the bottom 10%. More and more, we are seeing that hard-working people, the poor and particularly women — who are most vulnerable to poverty — are not benefitting from economic growth. And they should."
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Note to editors:
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau full speech at the World Economic Forum can be accessed here: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/canadian-opportunity-live-stream/article28261356/?click=sf_globe
- Oxfam's campaign, Even It Up, on fighting inequality can be found here: //www.oxfam.ca/inequality-is-not-inevitable