Dear Dignity for All supporters,
It is with mixed emotions that we are announcing the closing of the Dignity for All campaign. We are extremely grateful for the support of the hundreds of organizers, participants, and partners over more than a decade, and hope we can stay engaged through new partnerships and initiatives.
We are proud of what we have accomplished together as Dignity for All - notably, the legislation of Canada’s first national poverty reduction strategy, and ongoing pressure to honour the rights of people experiencing poverty.
When Dignity for All first began, the federal government at the time felt poverty was outside of their jurisdiction, and was the responsibility of provinces, territories, and municipalities. While the federal doors remained closed, Dignity for All partners and supporters came together to develop a model national anti-poverty plan, calling for a comprehensive, rights-based national strategy to eradicate poverty. The model plan was released in 2015, and when government doors opened again, we were ready.
Dignity for All was very active in providing policy expertise and public pressure throughout the development of Canada’s first poverty reduction strategy. Thanks to the breadth and depth of our partnerships, we were responsible for over 76% of the online submissions received in the online public consultation process, as well as appearing before several parliamentary committees and many meetings with MPs, Senators, and policy staff. Our Chew on This! campaign, the largest anti-poverty campaign in this country, had over 100 local organizers from every province and territory for several years and sent tens of thousands of signed postcards to various Ministers and Prime Ministers.
At last, the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy, “Opportunity for All,” was released in 2018. It was not as strong a plan as we had called for, but it was a significant development nonetheless. In 2019 we celebrated the legislation of the Poverty Reduction Act and the even stronger National Housing Strategy Act, which notably recognized housing as a human right.
To this day, Dignity for All has continued to call for increased federal ambition and rights-based approaches to eradicating - not just reducing - poverty in Canada. While we know there is still much work to be done, we feel it is time to close this chapter of Dignity for All and look for new ways to work together.
We are excited for new partnerships, projects, and campaigns to come, and hope you will continue to join Dignity for All co-leads, Citizens for Public Justice, Canada Without Poverty, and Campaign 2000 as we look for new ways to connect, convene, and co-conspire for a poverty-free Canada. We still have some ideas up our sleeves and would love to hear yours!
On behalf of each of us who have had the privilege and honour to meet and work alongside each of you, through policy summits, organizing calls, Chew on This! events, and workshops, thank you. The people we have met and the passion and generosity you have shared have made a tremendous difference in each of our lives as well as in this country.
We can’t wait to see what we’ll do next together.
With sincere thanks,
Natalie Appleyard, Citizens for Public Justice
Emilly Renaud, Canada Without Poverty
Leila Sarangi, Campaign 2000
One thought on “Farewell statement”
Natalie, thank you for all your advocacy work on bringing poverty to national attention. Unfortunately poverty and inequality continue to be major issues. This should not be the case in our wealthy country.