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Lorna Crozier talks poverty in Canada on CBC

Lorna Crozier reads at Ottawa International Writers Festival 2011. Photo from pesbo's Flickr photostream.

Last Friday, poet and University of Victoria professor Lorna Crozier hosted a special edition of CBC Radio’s The Current.

“I know what it’s like to come from a needy family. Though both my parents worked, we lived in substandard rental housing. We went without. And I keenly felt my mother’s worry as she tried, and failed, to make ends meet,” Crozier said by way of introducing “We Are the 10%: Poverty in Canada.” The special in three segments presented various experiences of poverty from around the country (and also featured poetry readings by Crozier’s husband, Patrick Lane).

The first segment profiled three very different people who are just scraping by. The second looked at child poverty and focused specifically on current socio-economic conditions in British Columbia — the province with one of the highest rates of poverty. Crozier wrapped up with a panel discussion on the paradoxically higher day-to-day costs facing those with the lowest incomes.

The special has been so well received that The Current host Anna Maria Tremonti announced a follow-up call-in show with Crozier this Thursday, in which CBC listeners will discuss what it’s like to be poor in Canada.

The original radio special is available online at The Current‘s website.