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In February, the Liberal government launched consultations with Canadians on what should be included in the country's first-ever poverty reduction strategy. So far, the consultation process on a poverty reduction plan for Canada, however, seems to be attracting a more limited response.
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The impact of poor Internet access goes far beyond one's ability to watch Netflix or check their Twitter feed to stay up-to-date. The lack of high speed and adequate bandwidth means limited access for Nunavummiut to pursuing everyday practical tasks: online banking, tax filing services, job hunting and applications, and email.
For a poverty reduction strategy to be successful, it takes time, political momentum, dedicated resources and an understanding that governments must consider the lived realities of poverty in every single policy decision they make.
It was a welcome surprise to see in the prime minister's mandate letter to Jean-Yves Duclos, the new minister of families, children and social development, a commitment to develop a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy. What must be included to make sure it is done right?
I'm thinking of the students who wish school was open today. The ones whose only meal each day is the one they get through a school meal program. Premier Christy Clark is probably hoping that we have forgotten about her broken promises. She won't want us to remember what she said about putting "families first" in her last election campaign.
I took a good look at what poverty is like in Canada. Canada doesn't "do" food stamps. So, last fall, I decided I would find out the numbers that would be representative of poverty on this side of the border. I feel ill.
A new take on the very popular YouTube series.
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Postal code analysis shows correlation between poorer regions and more deaths at an early age.
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In a country as wealthy as ours, it is simply wrong to allow 4.8 million Canadians to struggle to make ends meet, leaving so many unable to participate in the building up of the new Canada we all desire. Why must over 840,000 of our neighbours need to turn to a food bank to feed themselves and their families every month -- among them over 310,000 children?
"Time to end poverty in Canada" has been the message from the Salvation Army coming across our TV screens this holiday season. A great idea from an organization that fights poverty every day in our country -- but is it realistic? Yes, it is. Poverty doesn't just cost the poor their dignity and a reasonable standard of living, it costs us all.
It is essential that poor people are not the scapegoat for the problem of our public system. As a society we need to stop blaming the victims of poverty for their circumstances. But rather focus on solution that causes poverty.
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One local CBC radio station celebrates an annual event called "Sounds of the Season." The price of admission is a donation of a food item to the local food bank. This annual event is beginning to feel a lot like "them" and "us" to me. Drawing lines between those who can make a donation and those who must ask for help is not going to benefit any of us.
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.
It's a big week for food security in Canada -- not only did Food Banks Canada launch their annual Hunger Awareness Week, but the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food arrived as well. One in four Canadians use the service of a food bank. As people challenge themselves to 'give up' a food item they enjoy, they should consider the reason people go hungry: lack of income.