Volunteers call for forthcoming national Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy to be based in human rights and fully funded in Budget 2018.
For Immediate Release
Ottawa, ON — Over 850,000 people in Canada visit the food bank each month and one in eight families struggle daily to put food on the table. Two out of every five Northern households are food insecure. 4.8 million people in Canada live in poverty.
October 17th is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Today, volunteers in communities across Canada are taking to the streets to participate in the 5th annual “Chew On This!” campaign to call attention to the shocking rate of poverty and food insecurity. Chew On This! is organized by the Dignity for All campaign, co-led by Canada Without Poverty (CWP) and Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ), both registered charities.
Chew On This! events are being held by over 60 groups in more than 30 cities across the country – from Vancouver to St. John’s to Yellowknife – including locally at Parliament Hill. Volunteers will be handing out 22,000 campaign lunch bags which will contain a snack, a magnet, and a postcard to say that “We Need a Plan” to end poverty, food insecurity, and homelessness in Canada. Participants in the campaign will be calling for a national anti-poverty plan that is based in human rights and fully-funded in Budget 2018.
“Poverty is a violation of human rights, and Canada is obliged to address it,” said Leilani Farha, Executive Director of CWP. “A rights-based strategy would be the first step towards the necessary federal leadership to successfully end poverty in Canada.”
“According to Poverty Trends 2017, CPJ’s annual poverty report, the national poverty rate has barely moved over the past decade.” said Joe Gunn, Executive Director of Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ). “With a host of provincial and municipal poverty plans already in place across Canada, too many Canadians are still slipping through the cracks. It’s time for a strong, accountable national anti-poverty plan focused on the dignity of all people living in Canada.”
Since it launched in 2009, the Dignity for All campaign has called for a national plan to address poverty. In 2015, the campaign released its model plan, Dignity for All – A National Anti-Poverty Plan for Canada, based on five years of consultation with 600 organizations and individuals across the country. The plan outlines six policy areas where the federal government can lead in to drastically reduce poverty: income security, housing and homelessness, food security, health, early childhood education and care, and jobs and employment.
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Dignity for All: the campaign for a poverty-free Canada, headed by Canada Without Poverty and Citizens for Public Justice, is a multi-year, non-partisan campaign supported by over 11,000 individuals and 700 local and national organizations calling for a comprehensive federal plan to eliminate poverty.
ChewOnThis! is a national campaign to raise awareness of food insecurity, and call for the establishment of a national anti-poverty plan to address the systemic issues poverty in Canada. Thousands of Canadians are demanding the federal government establish a plan to eradicate poverty and hunger for the nearly 900,000 people in Canada who use food banks each month and for the millions of others struggling to get by. The United Nations has called for it, the Senate has called for it, and the House of Commons has called for it. It’s time for a plan.
Twitter: @DignityForAllCA & #ChewOnThis