MOTION 1.2: Calling on the Federal Government to take seriously the issue of poverty in Canada and to develop a Federal Anti-poverty strategy enshrined in legislation.
RELATING TO: Calling on the Federal Government to take seriously the issue of poverty in Canada and to develop a Federal Anti-poverty strategy enshrined in legislation.
SUBMITTED BY: The Eastern Synod Director of Public Policy and Service Ministries
MOTION: Moved that this synod in Assembly call on the Federal Government to address the issue of poverty facing many Canadians by
- developing a Federal Anti-poverty strategy enshrined in legislation which includes a commitment for sufficient investment in social security and accountability for results,
- and that delegates to this Assembly acquire and study the document The Dollars and Sense of Solving Poverty in their congregations,
- encourage their congregations and members to advocate for poverty reduction initiatives with their respective Provincial governments.
- To-date the federal government has not taken action with regard to a November 24, 2009 motion passed in the House of Commons: “That with November 24, 2009 marking the 20 anniversary of the 1989 unanimous resolution of the House to eliminate poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000, and not having achieved that goal, be it resolved that the Government of Canada, taking into consideration the Committee’s work in this regard, and respecting provincial and territorial jurisdiction develop an immediate plan to eliminate poverty in Canada for all”
- Poverty continues to affect almost 10% of the Canadian population (3.2 million Canadians living in 2009). The National Council of Welfare estimates the public cost of poverty is double what it would take to provide each Canadian family an income above the poverty line (“the Dollars and Sense of Solving Poverty” – Fall 2011).
- The newsletter (Hunger eNews) for the Ontario Association of Food Banks estimates that one in 33 Ontarians goes hungry every month and needs to access food from a food bank or feeding program
- A “Poverty Free Ontario” June 2011 media release indicated that poverty in Ontario had increased from 11.2% of the population in 2007 to 13.1% of the population in 2009
- The United Nations Human Rights Council called on the Government of Canada in 2009 to develop a national strategy to end poverty
- A Canada Without Poverty release in April 2009 indicated that income inequality in Canada continued to increase – the gap between the rich and poor continues to grow
- Canada 2020 is a non-partisan, progressive centre working to create an environment of social and economic prosperity for Canada and all Canadians. In their November 2011 publication “The Canada We Want in 2020” poverty is identified as a threat to our social cohesion. A number of recommendations are made to the federal government on the importance of reducing poverty
Rationale has been abridged.
- The Canadian Senate in their December 2009 sub-committee “Report on Cities, In from the Margins: A call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness” outlines numerous recommendations that the federal government should take to address poverty
- Provincial Governments including Ontario have adopted Poverty Reduction Strategies. However many of the actions require the support of the federal government
- Many of our congregations are involved in services and programs to help the poor in our communities. A commitment from both the federal and provincial governments to take action and make poverty reduction a priority would help support these efforts.
- The National Council of Welfare outlines a four part strategy to address poverty:
- There needs to be a Canada-wide strategy for solving poverty including a long term vision; coordination of efforts; accountability; measure on progress and sufficient resources
- A sustained investment plan to build human capacity
- A consistent design framework to ensure Canadians get the most impact out of different policies and programs
- An open forum for conversation and action (The Dollars and Sense of Solving Poverty – Fall 2011)
Date: July 22, 2012
Categories: Justice Resolutions - Assembly 2012