In this week’s bulletin:
The sensible approach in a recession is to stimulate the economy with government spending in areas that help people obtain work. Examples abound – through speeding up infrastructure programs, providing grants to organizations prepared to improve literacy, encouraging community improvement programs, starting training programs for new entrants into the job market, and transfers to low-income people to help them improve their standard of living […] The “dividend” out of these investments is in the form of jobs and the associated incomes, as well as an increase in the confidence of Canadians.
Mike McCracken, CEO of Informetrica Ltd., in the Toronto Star, October 4th
Toronto Network General Assembly – Countdown to a Poverty Reduction Strategy
October 27 | 1:00pm – 4:30pm
Macdonald Block | 900 Bay Street | Toronto
On October 27th, the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction will host a Toronto Network General Assembly as we countdown to the announcement of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction plan in December 2008.
We will share updates on campaign activities, government actions, and strategies around next steps.
Join us to hear directly from people living in poverty, those working on poverty reduction across the province, and our colleagues at “Half in 10”, the campaign to reduce poverty by 50% in 10 years in the United States.
- Pat Capponi, Voices from the Street
- Hon. Deb Matthews, Minister of Children and Youth Services
- Armine Yalnizyan, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
There is no fee to register however space is limited. Register on line at www.25in5.ca. If you are unable to register online, please call Mary at 416-351-0095 x.251 to register.
For more information about the Network, and to endorse the 25 in 5 Declaraion, visit www.25in5.ca
While the Premier has committed to announcing the details of Ontario’s poverty reduction strategy before the end of this year, he has also suggested that implementation of the strategy may have to be delayed due to the economic challenges facing our province.
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:
- Action to reduce poverty is the stimulus we need to weather the economic storm: we can boost consumer spending in local economies, invest in infrastructure to stimulate jobs, and ensure that all hands are on deck to pull us through the storm.
- We owe it to each other: we must step up for Ontario families through job losses, reductions in hours of work, and other financial stresses
- We can pay now or we can pay later: we can invest in people and ensure everyone is at their best or we can look forward to increased health care, criminal justice, and social services costs.
Add your voice. Visit www.25in5.ca and sign on for poverty reduction by endorsing the 25 in 5 Founding Declaration.
Thirteen local and regional municipal councils have passed resolutions to support poverty reduction in the last nine months, according to Poverty Watch Ontario.
Last week, City Councillor April Cullen moved that the Oshawa City Council endorse the 25 in 5 Declaration. The motion passed along with the provision to forward the resolution to other municipal councils in the region and the Regional Council of Durham for their similar action.
Councillor Cullen is also organizing a full hour program on local cable TV for a discussion on poverty reduction on October 23.
Across the province, city councillors are increasingly engaged with their local poverty reduction working groups in support of the 25 in 5 objectives.
Anti-poverty movement having an impact: Angus Reid Poll
Poverty is no longer a low-priority issue. Canadians now rank it fourth on their list of election concerns. This is a remarkable shift. It began about two years ago and continues, despite financial turbulence, job losses and sharp warnings about climate change.
Tim Olafson, executive vice-president of Angus Reid Strategies, says anti-poverty advocates are having an impact, crediting them with pushing the issue onto the public agenda. ‘It’s not an issue that will tip the scales of an election,” Olafson says. “But it’s a growing concern.”
This kind of progress may not be apparent at the ballot box. But it is a powerful reason to keep fighting.”
Toronto Star Lead Editorial, Oct 6, 2008
Links to Federal Action on Poverty Reduction
On the Record: The scoop on where the Parties stand on poverty issues: Make Poverty History asked all the five major party leaders what they would do about poverty, in Canada and overseas. All of them except Conservative leader Stephen Harper agreed to answer our questions about their plans to fight poverty.
See their answers and take action at http://www.makepovertyhistory.ca/
High Child Poverty Rates Threaten Social Fabric of Canada’s Cities, warns Campaign 2000 as the federal election goes down the stretch. http://www.campaign2000.ca/
Canada Votes: The federal election is on October 14, 2008. Use Canada Votes Papers 2008 to help spark dialogue about social issues in Canada and put them on the public agenda. http://www.sparc.bc.ca/get-involved/104-canada-votes-papers-2008. Also see the Toronto Votes Election resources, now available in 18 languages, at http://www.socialplanningtoronto.org/voting/
Local poverty reduction action groups continue to keep the poverty issue front and centre in their communities.
“Now would be the worst time to pull back” from a poverty reduction plan because “an economic downturn pushes more people into poverty,” wrote the Hamilton Spectator on October 2 following a meeting of the editorial board with the Hamilton Working Group on Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy
A Tale of Hardship in Peel
“The short and long-term economic and social costs of not addressing poverty immediately are enormous. Poverty is a major contributor to poor health, abuse, and violence. It is in everyone’s best interest to provide all families and individuals with the opportunity and supports needed to live fulfilling and contributing lives and feel connected to their community’s social, political and civic life,” writes the Peel Provincial Poverty Reduction Committee in their new report A Tale of Hardship in Peel.
“The strategy is still on target” says MPP Lou Rinaldi
“We’re committed to the strategy. The strategy is still on target. Once the government has a strategy, it will come up with a plan to implement it,” said MPP Lou Rinaldi, MPP for Northumberland-Quinte and Poverty Reduction Cabinet Committee member in comments to the Northumberland News, on September 24. The News reported on concerns from the Northumberland Coalition Against Poverty about the provincial government’s commitment to a poverty reduction plan.
New Peterborough Action Committee on Poverty Reduction
The Committee “is a way for the committee as a whole to make plans and get more people in the community involved.” Said Peel Mayor Paul Ayotte in Peterborough Examiner on Oct 27.
Campaign 2000’s Federal Election Statement
“We’ve been making progress [on poverty reduction] where provinces are committed, and we’ve been making some headway nationally with the National Child Benefit. But if we don’t have a strong national presence as the American economy falters, we’re really going to stall,” said Marvyn Novick on September 29 on the occasion of the release of Campaign 2000’s Federal Election Statement.
Pat Capponi, a leader in both Voices from the Street and 25 in 5 networks, held a very successful book launch for her new novel The Corpse Will Keep at the Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre on October 1. More than 80 people from Pat’s many different circles in the social action and literary fields filled the Centre’s common room to offer her congratulations.
Pat offered some stories about her recent recovery from surgery. She also read some excerpts from her new novel, which like her previous book Last Stop Sunnyside, is based on her life and experiences with people and communities struggling with poverty and mental health issues.
All present enthusiastically welcomed Pat back into the 25 in 5 campaign. As we count down to Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, we need her leadership now, more than ever.
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 the second in a series of weekly bulletins that 25 in 5 will issue electronically 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