Anti-Poverty Plan Wants ‘Dignity For All’

National Anti-Poverty Plan workshop May 28, 2015 ( Photo by Briana Carnegie)

An anti-poverty workshop Thursday morning saw support from many local residents who would like to see poverty battled on a national level.

Over a five-year period, Canada Without Poverty and Citizens for Public Justice worked together with communities to put together a National Anti-Poverty Plan. The plan is not finalized, but rather, acts as a ‘model plan’ and starting point to continue conversation with the federal government.

Recommendations for a total of six areas are outlined, including food security, health, housing, education, employment, and income security. It ultimately asks “dignity for all” citizens of Canada.

“There has to be a national anti-poverty plan on all [six] levels,” says workshop organizer Thea deGroot. “You can’t say, ‘let’s just deal with housing’. It may be a very important [issue] in some places but it’s not the answer everywhere.”

Spokeswoman Michelle Biss says the federal government has a fundamental responsibility in addressing this issue.

“Under international human rights law, all levels of government have a responsibility to address poverty,” says Biss. “While we’ve seen different activities and actions building from municipal levels, and provincial and territorial levels, the missing partner is the federal government.”

There is currently no national strategy in place to address the needs of one in seven Canadians who live in poverty.