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Megan Hooft

Canada Without Poverty: Human Rights, Poverty Blogger

Megan joined Canada Without Poverty in 2010 after working in both the private and non-profit sector in Canada and abroad. She completed her Master’s in human security and peacebuilding.
Chris Wattie / Reuters

Human Rights Day Reminds Us Our Rights Record Is Unequal

In Nunavut, 60 per cent of children are living in food-insecure households while in Manitoba, 76 per cent of First Nations children on reserves live in poverty. Vulnerable populations, such as women, seniors, recent immigrants, indigenous populations and racialized individuals experience the effects of poverty disproportionately demonstrating that even within the realm of social inadequacy the playing field isn't level.
12/12/2016 11:20 EST
Chris Wattie / Reuters

Canadians Want A Rights-Based National Housing Strategy

The recognition of housing as a human right by Minister Duclos' office could be the turning point -- not just for how we view housing, but for poverty and other economic rights violations as well. To see housing as a right looks beyond the physical structure of a shelter to a number of other factors: access to sanitation, location, and access to services or employment, community, security of tenure, and cultural adequacy, as well as other rights such as health, life and dignity.
11/23/2016 05:14 EST
OlegSirenko via Getty Images

SDGs Put Federal Government on the Hot Seat for Poverty

When it comes to poverty in this country, there is no question about it: our national government is failing. Latest estimates peg poverty at 4.8 million across the country. While some provinces and territories have stepped up to address poverty in their communities, the lack of political will and leadership in Ottawa has left premiers without adequate funding, guidance and metrics to properly tackle the issue.
10/07/2015 05:23 EDT
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Why NGOs Are Relieved the UN Called Canada out on the Income Tax Act

Canada has received a rebuke from a United Nations treaty monitoring body for its lack of respect for human rights. The Human Rights Committee (HRC) released a lengthy list of issues it cited as concerning as part of its concluding observations on the country's review of civil and political rights. Included was an important reference to the federal government's efforts to silence human rights organizations and advocacy through the Income Tax Act -- a welcome expression of support for charities under audit.
07/24/2015 05:51 EDT
CP

Fair Elections Act: An Exercise in False Marketing

It's time to get "un-political" and just plain old "reasonable." Let's hope that time off from the hectic pace of Parliament Hill over a long weekend offered an opportunity for reflection -- especially around Bill C-23, the so-called Fair Elections Act, which has been hotly contested, reviewed, analyzed and refuted for the past two months. The government should spend the same amount of effort to promote voting and protect the Charter right to vote as they have towards marketing a flawed and chastised Bill. Let's move past the false advertising.
04/25/2014 08:00 EDT
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Why It May Get Harder for the Homeless to Vote

Changes proposed in the Fair Elections Act are top of debate, particularly when one of the proposed changes could dramatically hinder access to the polls for our country's most vulnerable people. Under the proposed Act, the option of voter vouching is on the chopping block. Individuals without appropriate ID, including homeless people, have relied on this option in order to vote. If the discussion is about fairness, then ensuring all citizens can participate in the electoral process should be a top priority. This includes keeping a system of voter vouching. Not only is it the right thing to do, but democracy depends on it.
02/28/2014 12:19 EST
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Child Poverty Needs More Action, Less Talk

In 1989 the federal government voted unanimously on a motion to end child poverty by the year 2000. Nothing happened. In 2009, another motion was unanimously passed in the House of Commons that called for the development of a national poverty strategy. Again nothing happened. Actions speak louder than words, and in this case there is deafening silence.
11/27/2013 05:40 EST
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Why Food Charity Won't Solve Canada's Hunger Problem

Food insecurity is not as simple as being hungry, it encompasses experiencing fear about not having enough food to eat. A portion of these people head to food banks, which have seen overall visits rise in the past few years to nearly 900,000 visits each month. If the government thinks that food charity constitutes 'doing something' about food security, they need to think again.
10/18/2013 06:08 EDT
Getty

New Census Raises Poverty Debate

According to the NHS, in 2011 4.8 million people were living with low income, with the majority of these individuals concentrated in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Let's put it another way. Almost 5 million people had an income of $14k or less in 2011, 13 per cent of which received income solely from government transfers.
09/18/2013 12:04 EDT

Will Canada's Premiers Tackle Housing?

The premiers have a tough job this week. They have to choose which pressing issue will be discussed, debated and (hopefully) tackled in just three days at the Council of the Federation meeting in Niagara, Ontario. Lead by the Dignity for All Campaign, over 50 organizations from across the country are pushing the premiers to make housing a priority.
07/23/2013 05:43 EDT
CP

Where Child Poverty Thrives

While the federal government adjourns for summer break, they would be hardpressed to ignore headlines this week about their failure to ensure Indigenous peoples in Canada are thriving. A report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Save the Children illuminates a stark reality for status First Nations populations: 50% of children are living in poverty. This came after a second report by the Canadian Human Rights Commission outlined how far behind Aboriginal populations are in regards to income and employment. All in all, the picture is bleak.
06/21/2013 05:38 EDT

Canada's Egregious Human Rights Record Demands Explanation

According to the federal government Canada is a human rights leader, but this status was openly questioned at the Human Rights Council last week in Geneva. Under review for the second time as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, Canada found itself facing recommendations to step up its efforts to fulfill human rights and explain why little has been done to date.
05/02/2013 05:25 EDT

Canada Must Respect the Right to Food

From personal attacks to commendable recommendations -- this is the legacy of a UN final report on the right to food in Canada. Prepared Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, following his mission to Canada last May, the report illustrates that current programs and policies are not enough to fend-off food insecurity felt by millions and calls for greater federal action.
03/06/2013 05:32 EST
Getty Images

Homelessness in a Land of Plenty

A home is not a partisan issue. It is a basic human need, and a fundamental right. Homelessness and inadequate housing is a solvable problem for a rich democracy like Canada. Federal leadership is the only way to have a coordinated strategy across the country that ensures all the necessary stakeholders are at the table.
02/20/2013 12:36 EST
Flickr: Symic

Random Hacks Of Kindness Hits Vancouver

Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is an event where technical talent and good intentions converge. It provides a chance to be part of a global movement of tech for social good. From ending poverty to connecting women peacebuilders, the Vancouver RHoK event pulls in local tech talent to donate valuable skills and time to worthy causes.
11/26/2012 05:19 EST
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Canada Needs a Poverty Strategy Now

On October 17, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, women who have a lived experience of poverty spoke to a group of parliamentarians, social justice organizations and community members at the Conference Centre in Ottawa to make sure a clear message was heard: poverty still exists, and there is no reason for this in a country as wealthy as Canada. A crucial next step is to develop a federal plan to end poverty.
11/01/2012 12:19 EDT
Alamy

Without Government Help, Poverty in Ontario is Only Gaining Steam

A report released today by the Ontario Common Front states that Ontario is dead last in terms of growing poverty rates, rising inequality and spending on public services. It's the Fed's plan to invest $0 by 2016 in the federal affordable housing initiative, and cut other funds by 52 per cent. With all of the knowledge on the human and financial costs of poverty versus government savings, it is clear that action is necessary for greater prosperity for all in Canada.
08/31/2012 06:57 EDT