In August, Canada Without Poverty submitted a request to speak to the House of Commons Finance Committee on the importance and necessity of addressing poverty in the next budget. Poverty is not only an issue of ethics, but one of health, community, and economics. For poverty to be eliminated the federal government needs to take a leadership role and create benchmarks for its reduction and eventual eradication. See the press release below to learn more about Canada Without Poverty’s federal budget submission and why poverty cannot be ignored (French version follow):
G through to Z:
People who face poverty combined with other factors
such as addiction, mental illness and discrimination,
and who are mixed with those inclined
to inflict evil on these victims, equals crime.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
(OTTAWA) – Canada Without Poverty today publicly released its pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Finance Committee, for comment and discussion in advance of hopeful opportunity to have discussion with the Committee this fall. The release is also in advance of two major events of Canada Without Poverty at the end of September, in part to increase public discussion on economic and social rights such as the right to food, housing and social security.
“Our recommendation is simple yet significant,” said Rob Rainer, Executive Director. “That is for the federal government to set targets and timelines for poverty reduction and elimination and to study all fiscal mechanisms, federal as well as intergovernmental, available to help reach these targets and lay out options for the committee’s consideration and consultation. This aligns with the ideas of Senators Segal and Eggleton as presented within the landmark 2009 Senate report calling for stronger federal action on poverty.”
In its letter to James Rajotte, the Conservative Chair of the Finance Committee, Canada Without Poverty connected six dots:
That Canada’s economic recovery and prosperity, and the strength of its state of public finance, depend heavily on the health and well being of its people;
- That poverty – the overarching determinant of health and a critical determinant of crime – undermines the nation’s economic and fiscal well being;
- That sick people work less, die younger and draw heavily on health care systems;
- That desperate people sometimes turn to crime, drawing heavily on criminal justice systems;
- That success in health promotion and in crime reduction will strengthen Canada’s economy and improve public finance; and
- That a critical key for this success is poverty reduction and elimination.
Canada Without Poverty submitted a further hypothesis, that people who face poverty combined with other factors such as addiction, mental illness and discrimination, and who are mixed with those inclined to inflict evil on these victims, equals crime.
“The government need not start at square one,” added Harriett McLachlan, the charity’s board member for Québec. “Major reports on poverty and its solutions, like that of Senators Segal and Eggleton in 2009 and of the HUMA Committee in 2010, set the stage for action. A process can begin now to set targets and timelines. Fiscal mechanisms could include expanding on Canada’s existing system of basic income guarantees which more than anything have reduced poverty somewhat, notably for seniors.”
“As we see from the life of the late Jack Layton, parliamentarians have the opportunity to leave a magnificent legacy,” said Mr. Rainer. “And so we invoke lyrics by Rush, one of Canada’s legendary bands: And the men who hold high places must be the ones who start: closer to reality, closer to the heart.”
“Canada Without Poverty welcomes comments and suggestions from all Canadians,” said Ms. McLachlan. “Minister Flaherty recently said it and he is right: Canada is a leader and Canada can be a leader of all good things.”
Canada Without Poverty’s pre-budget consultation submission is available online at www.cwp-csp.ca. Its special events in Ottawa at the end of September – timed to help mark 40 years of anti-poverty activism by Canada Without Poverty – are Get Up, Stand Up: An Evening of Insight and Inspiration (September 29, 2011, Carleton University) and Will Ackerman and Friends in Concert: A Benefit for Canada Without Poverty (September 30, 2011, Dominion-Chalmers United Church).
For more information on Canada Without Poverty’s pre-budget consultation submission and associated events contact:
Strategic and Communications Advisor
Canada Without Poverty
(613) 795-1423 (cell); [email protected]