In an interview with Vancouver's News1130, last week, Moore seemed to suggest that child poverty was not Ottawa's problem.
"Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so," he was quoted as saying.
After initially arguing — on Twitter — that the quote was taken out of context, Moore released this apology on Monday afternoon.
In response to a question from a reporter last week, I made an insensitive comment that I deeply regret. I apologize.Caring for each other is a Canadian ethic that I strongly believe in - always have and always will. Of course poverty is an issue that concerns me, and concerns all Canadians. All levels of government, indeed all members of our society, have a responsibility to be compassionate and care for those in need.Great work has been done to tackle poverty and the challenges associated with poverty. And while more work is needed, I know the cause of fighting poverty is not helped by comments like those I made last week. For that, I am sorry.
The MP from British Columbia took a lot of heat for the quote on social media.
"Sorry James but being in government is about making sure that children in a country as rich as ours don't go hungry," NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus wrote on his Facebook page.
Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett said this on Twitter:
— Carolyn Bennett (@Carolyn_Bennett) December 15, 2013
Others took to Twitter mocking Moore with the hashtag: #MooreChristmas
— gindaanis (@pattyk13) December 16, 2013
Ya know that Bible everyone quotes so wildly? Right in the first book - "Am I my brother's keeper?" #MooreChristmas
— Barb (@barb_hill) December 16, 2013
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In Moore's defence, child poverty and the majority of the programs to alleviate it are a provincial responsibility.
And he does say that the federal government has worked towards "empowering families with more power and resources."
Facilitating a strong economy so that people have jobs and money to feed their children is the best social policy out there.
But it seems, now, that Moore is wishing that he'd chosen his words a little more wisely.
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