I’ve had it. No, really, I’m fed up. If I have to listen to another ill-informed, bigoted view of people who are homeless my head is going to explode.

These comments are everywhere lately as the provincial government does the right thing and invests hundreds of millions of dollars in supportive housing projects to deal with the rising number of homeless.

When you hear all of these opponents to housing for the homeless, their criticism pretty much comes down to one basic point: “It’s not the right location.”

It’s just I find it hard to believe that all of the experts from B.C. Housing and the cities in question managed to get the location “wrong” in every single community.

Progressive Conservative Todd Smith, Liberal Robert Quaiff and New Democrat Joanne Belanger were in the hot seat Thursday afternoon as Poverty Roundtable Hastings Prince Edward hosted the final All Candidates Meeting of the campaign at Eastminster United Church.

Candidates fielded a number of questions pertaining to what their parties would do to tackle issues surrounding poverty, such as a living wage, affordable housing, transportation, health care and food security and how to correct the root causes so that no one is left behind.

Faced with a rise in refugee claimants fleeing harrowing conditions of war in their countries of origin, and racism in the United States, politicians from all three levels of government are blaming the decades-old shelter crisis on people in desperate need of refuge. Erasing over 20 years of their own complicity in creating and entrenching homelessness, politicians are playing political dodgeball over who should pay to shelter refugees. The fact that their political rhetoric is increasing bigotry and the potential for racist violence towards an already traumatized people seems to matter little.

All levels of government and the community need to step up to help eliminate poverty, local agencies that have been addressing the issue at the front lines say.

The Poverty Roundtable released a report on Tuesday ahead of this week’s Bay of Quinte all-candidates debate on poverty issues titled Moving Forward: Recommendations for Community Action.

The report suggests strong steps forward with a call to action on government officials, organizations and individuals.

“People are living in crisis,” said Christine Durant, director of the Hastings and Prince Edward Poverty Roundtable. “It’s about survival. It’s about getting by. We have two communities. One with people who are living comfortable and others who are not.”

Canada may be a wealthy country, but 20 per cent of its children and youth live in poverty, says UNICEF Canada, and it is asking Canadians to help.

Children are suffering from a growing inequality in Canada, says David Morley.

“It’s something which is shocking for a country as wealthy as ours and it’s a situation that just isn’t improving,” says David Morley, president and CEO of UNICEF Canada. This United Nations’ humanitarian organization ranks Canada 25th out of the world’s 41 richest countries for the well-being of children and youth.

PRESCOT, England — A walk through this modest town in the northwest of England amounts to a tour of the casualties of Britain’s age of austerity.

The old library building has been sold and refashioned into a glass-fronted luxury home. The leisure center has been razed, eliminating the public swimming pool. The local museum has receded into town history. The police station has been shuttered.

Now, as the local government desperately seeks to turn assets into cash, Browns Field, a lush park in the center of town, may be doomed, too. At a meeting in November, the council included it on a list of 17 parks to sell to developers.