Countdown to a Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) – 2 weeks to go

With 2 weeks until the December deadline, 25 in 5 goes on the road

  1. Quote of the week: Too Much Poverty, Too Few Solutions Letting Our Young People Down
  2. Leadership in Hard Times:  25 in 5 Network launches 22-city tour to promote poverty reduction
  3. Three ways you can make a difference for poverty reduction, including DEADLINE TODAY to appear before pre-budget consultations in Toronto
  4. Governments can use crisis to repair and rebuild infrastructure while fighting poverty, says economist Armine Yalnizyan
  5. Five provinces and counting on poverty reduction, is Manitoba next?

Quote of the week

““Poverty without hope, poverty with isolation, poverty with hunger and poor living conditions, poverty with racism and poverty with numerous daily reminders of social exclusion can lead to the immediate risk factors for violence… at present, there is both too much poverty and too little by way of counterweights to prevent poverty being a central issue for anyone concerned about the extent of violence involving youth in this province.”

Who said it? The Hon. Roy McMurtry and Dr. Alvin Curling in The Review of the Roots of Youth Violence.See related press coverage or read the Final Report


25 in 5 Network Launches Poverty Reduction Tour
The 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction unveiled today its plan for a six-week “Leadership in Hard Times: 25 in 5’s Tour to Promote Poverty Reduction,” just weeks before the Ontario government announces its poverty reduction strategy.

“Our 22-city tour focuses on building support for a solid plan, with investments starting next year, if we’re going to meet our goal of reducing poverty and protecting Ontarians from the worst case scenario of a long-term recession,” says Peter Clutterbuck of the Social Planning Network of Ontario.

A consultation document, entitled A Blueprint for Poverty Reduction: Leadership in Hard Times, will be presented for discussion in 22 communities. It argues that action on a poverty reduction plan is especially necessary in tough economic times, identifies the various policy tools that are at Ontario’s disposal to tackle poverty, and proposes a set of specific, multi-year steps to achieve the goal of 25 in 5.

Once the tour is complete, a full accounting of the proposals will be released. The next few days will bring the tour to Toronto, Cornwall, Belleville, Hamilton and Thunder Bay.  Other cities will follow.

Click here for the news release.

For the full line-up, including locations and contact info visit povertywatchontario.ca

For the consultation document, Blueprint for Poverty Reduction: Legacy for an Inclusive Ontario – A Draft for Community Discussion, click here.

Related Links

  • Cambridge: Check out video from the recent “25 in 5 Declaration on Poverty Reduction” forum, co-hosted by The Social Planning Council of Kitchener Waterloo, the Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries and Opportunities Waterloo Region.
  • Sudbury: More than one hundred people attended an early morning breakfast in Greater Sudbury to learn more about the 25 in 5 movement on the morning of October 30. A diverse crowd from the business, labour, health care, education, social service, municipal, faith based and general community gathered to listen to three key addresses from community leaders.  Sponsored by the Social Planning Council of Sudbury.
  • Welland Tribune: Thorold to discuss plans to reduce poverty, public meeting with 25 in 5 speakers to be held Nov. 26, sponsored by the Niagara Social Assistance Reform Committee (SARC) and Social Services Advisory Committee.
  • Orillia’s Packet and Times:  Poverty is here in the community and Orillia needs to set aside judgements and start doing small things to ease the burden of need, according to one worker who sees it every day.

December Deadline is Fast Approaching: 3 Ways to Make a Difference

“The government will announce its PRS in December. And when it does, we have to be there, we have to be visible, and we have to declare that this is just the end of the beginning of our fight. Because it won’t have everything we’ve fought for, and we want to ensure that those living in poverty know we will not abandon them once again. We want to ensure that the public knows that this is only  the start, a down payment on what’s needed, and that our voices and our fight remain strong .”

Pat Capponi, from Remarks to the 25 in 5 Leadership Summit in Toronto, November 17

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

The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, a.k.a. the “pre-budget committee”: TODAY IS THE DEADLINE for signing up for Toronto dates

The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is the all-party committee that consults Ontarians annually on budget priorities – it is critical that this committee hears the 25in5 message: 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.

Toronto dates are now available to appear before the all-party committee on November  20, December 4 & 11. Organizations should call 416-325-3883 before November 17 to get on the list to present.

Click here to see more details and to find out how you can get involved.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan Consultations

Ontario’s Finance Minister has launched a round of cross-provincial consultations to inform the 2009 spring budget. Dates available now in: Ottawa – Nov 20, Toronto – Nov 21, Thunder Bay – Dec 1, Sudbury and Sault St. Marie – Dec 12.  We need partners to commit to sign up and speak up for poverty reduction before the Finance Minister.  Click here to see more details and to find out how you can get involved.

2. Tell your MPP Why our Economy Needs a Poverty Reduction Strategy Now

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! Learn more here.

3. Join the Movement for Poverty Reduction in Your Community

Anti-poverty networks in more than 20 communities will be meeting in November and December as part of the “Leadership in Hard Times: 25 in 5’s Tour to Promote Poverty Reduction,”  to” 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. Details on times and locations is available here.


Governments can use crisis to repair and rebuild infrastructure while fighting poverty, says economist Armine Yalnizyan

Toronto Star, Nov 17

Our elected leaders can use this moment of economic slack to speed up the repair and expansion of infrastructure and affordable housing so desperately needed in communities across this country. That would create good jobs, at good wages, and put in place a platform for the inevitable next phase of economic expansion.

They can make sure that minimum wages do not consign workers to poverty, but prevent it. The growth of temporary work may be a boon to employers, but it undercuts the stability of the economy as a whole. Our governments can enforce existing legislation, and make employment standards more relevant to today’s realities.

Governments are the only players in the mix equipped with the tools to help society achieve balance and justice, not just economic growth.

Times may be tough. But there is no better time to demonstrate what government of the people, for the people (all the people), really means.

Related Links


And finally, with five provinces already on board for poverty reduction… Manitoba community coalition unveils anti-poverty strategy

Winnipeg Free Press, November 9

A coalition of local community groups unveiled an anti-poverty strategy Wednesday, calling on the Doer government to implement a comprehensive campaign to reduce poverty.

The coalition of more than 30 organizations, calling itself Make Poverty History Manitoba, said the provincial government’s efforts to date to reduce poverty have consisted of small, piecemeal measures that have proven ineffective.

Gail Watson, chair of the coalition, said that a four-year community consultation found that all groups believe that the Doer government’s efforts to date have not worked. Watson said the coalition believes the province needs to follow the examples of several other provinces and European countries that are finding success with a strategy that includes identifiable targets and deadlines across every aspect of government.

“We need timelines and benchmarks to measure progress,” Shauna Mackinnon, director of the Manitoba office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and a coalition member, said at a news conference held this morning at the Millennium Library.

Graham Starmer, President of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and another coalition member, said the business community supports the need for a strategy because it recognizes that healthy communities are crucial to the success of business.


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.

Just some of the new organizations to endorse this week:

  • Women’s Own Resource Centre
  • Ansaar Foundation
  • Orangeville and District Labour Council
  • Quinte Labour Council
  • Labour Community Services of Peel
  • Tony Ruprecht, MPP (Davenport)
  • Community Action Research
  • Labour Community Services
  • North York Harvest Food Bank

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


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

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