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Statement of the Winnipeg Roundtable to the Council of the Federation: The provincial and territorial road to poverty eradication

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Winnipeg Roundtable (convened by Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, Campaign 2000, Canadian Council on Social Development & Council of Canadians with Disabilities)
Publication Date: 
4 Aug 2010

Excerpts from the statement:

(Ratified in principle by participants at a cross-Canada roundtable convened in Winnipeg on August 4, 2010 by the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg and Campaign 2000 in collaboration with the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and the Canadian Council on Social Development.)

This is the moment for government leaders to demonstrate commitment and to work together to eradicate poverty in Canada during the next decade. There is growing recognition within Canada and internationally that persistent poverty is a serious health issue, erodes the social fabric of communities, and is a moral blight on the democratic integrity of nations.

The persistence of poverty in Canada means that thousands of adults and children experience chronic cycles of hunger and hardship each month when money runs out to meet basic necessities. Unaffordable housing means that limited food money is used to pay the rent. Too frequently, adults and families find themselves in states of homelessness. Deprivation is the fate of the more than 40% of low income children whose parents work full time throughout the year only to have their families live in poverty. Disproportionately high levels of poverty afflict Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, lone mothers, racialized minorities, and recent immigrants.

The roundtable in Winnipeg today is being held across the street from where the Premiers are holding their annual meeting. We are here in person or conferencing from communities across Canada. Wherever we might be, we have a common message.

We are calling on the Premiers to honour their responsibilities and put planning for poverty eradication on the agenda of the Council of the Federation.


Therefore, we are asking the Council of the Federation to:

A. Establish a working group to outline core provincial/territorial roles and expected federal contributions to a joint plan which would honour the intent of the November 24, 2009 resolution "to eliminate poverty in Canada for all." The working group would prepare a preliminary framework document for review by social services and finance ministers in early 2011, and submit a final report for adoption by the Premiers at their next annual meeting.

B. Request that the federal government delegate its senior officials to meet with the working group by early 2011 to propose terms of reference for a joint federal and provincial/territorial task force to implement the November 24, 2009 resolution, and to include processes for engaging First Nations' and other Aboriginal communities in the development of the joint plan.

press release
Entered Date: 
4 Aug 2010
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