When is the best time to solve poverty? Twenty years ago.
When is the second best time to solve poverty? Right now.
This adaptation of a Chinese proverb encapsulates CPJ’s pre-budget brief to the Standing Committee on Finance. Twenty years ago, the House of Commons passed an all-party resolution to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. As we approach the twentieth anniversary, Budget 2009 should make good on that pledge. We believe that Budget 2009’s priority should be a commitment to a federal poverty reduction strategy.
Canada’s poverty rates have changed little over the past 25 years. Today, 1 in 10 Canadians live in poverty, struggling to live in dignity, to attain sustainable livelihoods and maintain health and well-being, and to participate in the life of their communities and of our country. A national poverty reduction strategy would help to create a Canada where no one is left behind and every one has the opportunity to participate. Canada without poverty would be a country where every citizen could flourish, economically and socially.
This brief reinforces our Envisioning Canada without Poverty campaign. Check out CPJ’s brief, and consider bringing along a copy when you visit your MP or including a copy with your letter encouraging your MP to commit to poverty reduction in Canada.