History in Highlights

1971

The National Anti-Poverty Organization (or NAPO) was founded in the aftermath of the first Poor People’s Conference.

1971
1973

NAPO presented a brief on the connection between food, nutrition and low income to the House of Commons Special Committee on Trends in Food Prices.

1973
1974

NAPO argued for, and won the retention of, the 10-cent payphone and successfully argued against a proposed increase in rates by Bell Telephone.

1974
1989

NAPO embarked on a large research project on the strengths and weaknesses of job training programs from the perspective of participants on social assistance. The final report was entitled You Call it a Molehill, I’ll Call it a Mountain: Job Training for People on Social Assistance after the story of an exchange between a welfare agent and a recipient who disagreed about the significance of a $25 difference in payments.

1989
1993-1998

CWP/NAPO was the first non-governmental organization (along with CCPI) to be invited to present orally to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) on Canada’s compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. CWP/NAPO appeared at each subsequent review.

1993-1998
2000

NAPO claimed a legal victory when the City of Winnipeg conditionally repealed the city by-law against panhandling; NAPO had claimed that the by-law was unconstitutional and that it discriminated against the poor by distinguishing them from other citizens.

2000
2000

NAPO received honourable mention from the Canadian Council for International Co-operation for its work on poverty eradication and human development internationally.

2000
2009

Changed name of organization from National Anti-Poverty Organization (NAPO) to Canada Without Poverty (CWP) and unveiled new logo.

2009
2009

CWP formally launched the Dignity for All: The Campaign for a Poverty-free Canada with co-lead Citizens for Public Justice.

2009
2010-2011

Recruited CWP’s first Honorary Directors (Right Hon. Joe Clark, Hon. Louise Arbour, Hon. Monique Bégin, Hon. Ed Broadbent, Mr. Ovide Mercredi).

2010-2011
2013

As a co-lead in the Dignity for All campaign, CWP launched the first annual ChewOnThis! campaign.

2013
2014

CWP’s former Executive Director, Leilani Farha, was named the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing for the UN.

2014
2015

CWP presented a written document to the CESCR detailing concerns about poverty, homelessness and hunger in Canada (read the submission).

2015
2015

CWP released Human Rights and Poverty Strategies, A Guide to International Human Rights Law and its Domestic Application in Poverty Reduction Strategies, a practical tool for provincial, territorial, and municipal policy workers interested in learning more about human rights and how to incorporate human rights standards within poverty strategies.

2015
2015

The Dignity for All Campaign unveiled its National Anti-Poverty Plan (click here to read the plan in English or en français).

2015
2016-2017

CWP President presented at United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) to address Canada’s current state of poverty.

2016-2017
2017

CWP presented at the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to address the intersectionality of poverty and disability in Canada.

2017
2019

CWP presented at Canada’s United Nations Universal Periodic Review addressing its current state of poverty.

2019
2020

CWP appeared as a witness for the House of Commons Committee on Procedures and House Affairs to speak about the barriers to voters in poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020
2020

CWP released the Poverty Pandemic Watch.

2020
2021

CWP speaks with journalists across Canada, and appears on the Real Talk with Ryan Jesperson podcast to raise awareness about the impacts for rural and remote communities from the Greyhound bus ending service in Canada.

2021
2022
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