Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


May 7, 2010

Faith in Action initiative

S. Simpson: On April 28, Faith in Action, a multi-denominational group, gathered on the steps of the Legislature to present Begging for Justice, where reverends, pastors and rabbis spoke about our collective responsibility to our most vulnerable citizens. They spoke of the need for housing, increased income, dignity and respect. 

 They offered up a begging bowl, and person after person who were gathered on the steps wrote down their own begs and put them in the bowl — 207 in total. Calling on all of us in this place to respond, they spoke of the minimum wage, affordable housing, poverty reduction, the disabled, seniors, children, our health care and education systems. 

 In all cases they asked the 85 of us sitting in this place to come together to make the lives of the most vulnerable citizens in society better, to step up and reach out to those in British Columbia who most need our help. 

I was honoured and humbled to have accepted the begging bowl on April 28. The challenge that Faith in Action has placed before us is an important and daunting one. It is a challenge that deserves all of our attention, and it is a challenge that can best be met by setting our partisanship aside. I would be happy, certainly, to make the begs available for any member who wants to look at them. 

The faith leaders called on all of us — not as Liberals, New Democrats or independents but as British Columbia's leaders — to make the challenges facing our most vulnerable a priority. They called on us to work together to improve the lives of the men and women, children and seniors, the disabled, and those suffering from addictions and mental health issues. 

Every day in this place we open our deliberations with a member reading a prayer. Most often it calls for us to have the strength, wisdom and compassion to do what is best for the people of our province. On April 28 those on the steps of the Legislature made that same ask in their prayers and comments. 

There are many challenges facing us today in British Columbia. There are priorities to be set. Let us make the commitment that we will all heed the prayers and aspirations of the faith leaders who visited us in April as we make those choices. 

 

 

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