We believe poverty is fundamentally a violation of people's rights and dignity. It is pervasive and systemic, but it is not inevitable.
October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Each year on this day, our annual Chew on This! campaign mobilizes people from across Canada to call for an end to poverty. As a coalition of community organizations, faith communities, and citizens, the Dignity for All campaign is calling on the Government of Canada to do what is legally and morally required to uphold and protect the rights of people experiencing poverty and other intersecting forms of systemic oppression in Canada.
Canada needs to fight poverty effectively and equitably. The federal government must adopt specific targets and timelines to eradicate poverty among equity-seeking groups, as well as for Canada at large.
With the legislation of the Poverty Reduction Act in 2019, the Government of Canada committed to a poverty reduction target of 50% of 2015 levels by the year 2030. Chew on This! organizers want to know, who are the 50% that will be included? Who are the 50% that will remain in poverty?
As governments and policies come and go, trends in who is most likely to be poor, and whose rights are most likely to be violated by poverty have stayed the same: people who are Indigenous, Black, people of colour, disabled, 2SLGBTQ+, women or gender nonconforming, seniors, single, or who have precarious immigration status are disproportionately likely to be counted among the poor in Canada. Will they be counted among the 50% liberated from poverty, or will they be among those who remain?
We will not end poverty in Canada without ending inequity. In order to effectively and equitably address poverty in Canada, Dignity for All and Chew on This! organizers call on our elected officials to adopt specific targets and timelines for the eradication of poverty in Canada and the achievement of equal rights of equity-seeking groups.