Countdown to a Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) 4 weeks until the December deadline

4 weeks until the December deadline, 4 ways you can make a difference

  1. Sign up and Speak Up for Poverty Reduction at Pre-Budget Consultations
  2. Talk to Your MPP about why Poverty Reduction is What Our Economy Needs
  3. Join the movement for poverty reduction in your community
  4. Add Your Voice to 25 in 5 by Endorsing the Declaration

Plus poverty reduction in the news and the quote of the week!


Sign up and Speak Up for Poverty Reduction at Pre-Budget Consultations

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan has launched a round of cross-provincial consultations to inform the 2009 spring budget.

We want to remind Minister Duncan that Ontarians welcome the government’s leadership on poverty reduction – more than 75 public consultations over the summer and a new national poll show overwhelming support in Ontario for action on poverty reduction, especially in tough economic times.

Our message to the Finance Minister is simple:  Ontario needs a downpayment on poverty reduction in the 2009 budget.  That means new dollars for programs that will make a tangible difference in people’s lives.

And we cannot afford to wait.  An economic crisis is no excuse to abandon the fight against poverty.

In fact, the exact opposite is true. Action to reduce poverty is the stimulus we need to weather the economic storm. We must act now to boost consumer spending in local economies by raising the minimum wage and investing in income security programs. And we must also act now to stimulate jobs though investments in infrastructure like affordable housing, transportation and early learning and child care.

Get on the list and speak up for Poverty Reduction!

Minister Duncan will be in the following cities in the next few weeks:
Windsor – Nov 10
Ottawa – Nov 20
Toronto – Nov 21
Thunder Bay – Dec 1

This is your opportunity to speak your mind –  contact Mariya Genkova at mariya.genkova@ontario.ca or 416-325-0388 or call 1-866-989-9002 to get added to the speaker’s list.

The 25 in 5 Network will be pleased to send you a package with some helpful background materials to help you prepare for your appearance.  Contact Christopher Wulff at cwulff@socialplanningtoronto.org or 416-351-0095 x214 for more information.

And remember, this is just the first round.  Come December, we expect that the Parliamentary pre-budget committee will hold its own consultations.  We’ll be there too.


Talk to Your MPP About Why Poverty Reduction is What Our Economy Needs

As Ontario edges closer to the announcement of a Poverty Reduction Plan, it is more important than ever that our provincial elected officials hear from their constituents about widespread support for action.  Every voicemail, phone call, letter and email counts!

We have to talk to the people who make the decisions…

Contact the Premier (dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org); Finance Minister Dwight Duncan (dduncan.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org), and your local Member of provincial Parliament.  Remind them that:

  1. You made a promise on poverty reduction that we expect you to keep – On Oct 22 Premier McGunity said: “I’m proud to lead the 1st government in Canada that is going to put forth a comprehensive and effective plan to address poverty in the province of Ontario.”
  2. The economic downturn means that NOW, more than ever, is the time to invest in a poverty reduction plan. Read what economists are saying about this.
  3. Ontario needs a downpayment on poverty reduction in the 2009 budget.  That means new dollars for programs that will make a tangible difference in people’s lives.  Check out 25 in 5’s Five Tests for Success of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Join the Movement for Poverty Reduction in Your Community

Anti-poverty networks in more than 20 communities will be meeting in November and December to get ready for the next stage of the Poverty Reduction campaign.  Now is the time to talk about our expectations of the government’s plan in December and to begin to organize our collective voice leading up to the 2009 spring budget in Ontario.

Events will take place in the following communities in the next six weeks:

Nov. 12 – Sudbury

Nov. 13 – North Bay

Nov. 14 – Parry Sound and Bracebridge

Nov. 19 – Cornwall

Nov. 20 – Hastings County and Belleville

Nov. 21 – Hamilton

Nov. 24 – Thunder Bay

Nov. 26 – Niagara

Nov. 27 – Kitchener-Waterloo and Oakville

Nov. 28 – Cambridge

Dec. 1 – Kingston

Dec. 2 – North Durham and South Durham

Dec. 4 – London [to be confirmed]

Dec. 5 – Windsor [to be confirmed]

Dec. 9 – Ottawa [to be confirmed]

Dec. 10 – Peterborough

Details on the time and location of the above events are being posted as they become available on the Poverty Watch Ontario calendar at www.povertywatchontario.ca. Come out to the event in your community and become part of the movement for poverty reduction in Ontario – also check out up-to-the minute updates on each event and local media coverage.


Add your voice to the 25 in 5 Declaration

By endorsing the 25 in 5 Declaration we can send a clear message to the Provincial Government that action on poverty reduction cannot be delayed:

Last week we got 165 new endorsements! Thanks for spreading the word!

Just some of the new organizations to endorse this week:

Add your voice. Visit www.25in5.ca and sign on for poverty reduction by endorsing the 25 in 5 Founding Declaration.


Quote of the week

“The assumption that the Liberals can’t afford to do much now lets McGuinty off the hook a little too easily. When he took office in 2003, Ontario’s deficit stood at $5.6 billion – 10 times the size of today’s shortfall – yet he increased health-care and education spending by $4.3 billion. He said he could not renege on his commitment to voters to shore up medicare and cut class sizes. Why is his election pledge to take the lead in reducing poverty less binding?”

Who said it? Toronto Star Columnist Carol Goar, writing about the 25 in 5 General Meeeting in Toronto on October 27th.
Read the article here.


Poverty in the Media

Miserly reward for those who wait
Toronto Star, October 31

Don’t let poverty fall off agenda
Guelph Mercury, October 29

Community comes together for poverty
NorthernLife.ca, October 31

Taking aim at poverty
Georgian, October 30

BC priorities: Is Campbell getting it right?
Rabble.ca, October 29

Province told to reduce child poverty by one-quarter in five years
Community Press, October 29

Welfare payouts hit target . . . for 1988
Toronto Star, November 1

Poverty Remains Priority says Cabinet Minister
Ancaster News, October 31

Time McGuinty Plugged the Wage Gap
Walkerton Herald Times, October 31

Working Together to Reduce and Prevent Poverty
Letter to the Editor from Mary Schryer, Minister for Social Development, New Brunswick
Times and Transcript (Moncton)

The Meltdown, Seen From Below: What union leaders, labour experts and anti-poverty activists say needs to be done.
The Tyee (British Columbia), November 3


About the Countdown to a Poverty Reduction Plan eBulletins

The 25 in 5 Network is steered by a coalition of Ontario organizations including Campaign 2000, the Income Security Advocacy Centre, the Social Planning Network of Ontario the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition, The Colour of Poverty Project, the Ontario Coalition for Social Justice, Voices From the Street, among others.

This is a weekly bulletin from 25 in 5 to its contact list of supporters and interested parties across the province. The Countdown Bulletin is intended to keep you up to date on the development of a poverty reduction plan for Ontario and to let you know how you, your organizations and networks can help make it happen.

For more information visit www.25in5.ca

E-Bulletin

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