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CPJ welcomes launch of national poverty reduction consultation

By Deborah Gyapong
Canadian Catholic News

02/22/2017

OTTAWA (CCN) — Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) welcomed the launch Feb. 13 of a national consultation as one of the first steps in developing a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Families, Children and Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced the consultation at a news conference Feb. 13. Duclos also called for nominations for a ministerial advisory committee on poverty.

“I’m looking very much forward to receiving feedback from all these Canadians, especially from those who have knowledge, whether direct or indirect, of poverty,” Duclos said. “Their point of view will be invaluable.”

A news release from Duclos’ ministry gave more details on how Canadians will have their say in the nation-wide consultation that will wrap up in June.

One way will be through a “Poverty Reduction Strategy engagement website, including discussion forums and online town halls,” said a release. “The online engagement will be complemented by roundtables with provincial, territorial and municipal governments; indigenous organizations; businesses; community organizations; academic experts and Canadians who have experienced poverty.”

“The Government of Canada will also work with indigenous organizations to ensure the participation of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in the consultations,” it said. “The input and feedback collected will provide valuable information which will help shape the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.”

“We are very happy to see the launch of the consultations, and we hope that the process allows for strong engagement by the public,” said CPJ’s socio-economic policy analyst Darlene O’Leary in a news release.

“We have been calling on the minister to ensure that the consultations engage widely with a range of stakeholders, most importantly people with a lived experience of poverty.”

“It’s important, as well, that the process plans to engage with indigenous organizations, which is something the Dignity for All campaign has emphasized.”

CPJ has co-led the Dignity for All anti-poverty campaign with Canada Without Poverty since 2009. The campaign has drawn the support of 600 local and national organizations and more than 10,000 individuals.

Dignity for All’s National Anti-Poverty Plan for Canada recommends the government address income security, housing, health, food security, employment and early childhood education and care.

Duclos also called attention to the Tackling Poverty Together research project that is examining case studies in poverty alleviation across Canada.

“The Tackling Poverty Together Project, which was announced in September 2016, is building case studies across Canada from six Canadian communities affected by poverty and working hard together to alleviate it,” Duclos said. “The study is currently underway in Saint John, N.B., in part thanks to the strong and hard work of my colleague, Wayne Long, and will soon reach out to the Regent Park neighbourhood in Toronto as well as to Winnipeg, Trois-Rivières in Quebec, Tisdale in Saskatchewan and Yellowknife.”

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