This is an update to my previous blog Please Support “Let’s Vote For a Poverty Free Ontario” on September 13, 2011.

Please note that Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition’s (ISARC ‘s) new date for the election sign blitz is September 15, 2011.

Poverty Free Ontario reports the following economic set-up for permanent poverty in Ontario, and what are required to reduce the poverty rate to 4% or lower :

  • “At current social assistance rates, adults on OW (Ontario Works) and ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) are condemned to deep poverty (below 80% of the poverty line).
  • At the current minimum wage, an earner working full-time for the full year still does not escape poverty.
  • Whether in good or bad economic times, since the recession of 1992, Ontario has struggled to stay below a double-digit poverty rate of 10% or higher.
    • This tells us that reducing the poverty rate to 4% or lower will require structural approaches that address the basic material living conditions of low income Ontarians.
  • Further, the worrying trend is the upward slope of the Ontario poverty rate when tracked by decade since the beginning of the 1990s.

“For the upcoming provincial election on October 6, 2011, ISARC’s “Faith To End Poverty Campaign” is partnering with Poverty Free Ontario (PFO) in more than 20 communities across the province to make sure that the issue of poverty is not neglected.

Candidates for office will start getting their names, pictures and campaign literature in front of Ontario voters starting in earnest in September.

That’s the time when we think voters should get the message out about poverty using conventional election signage and messaging.

We are requesting the support of all faith groups in an election “sign blitz” on September 15, 2011 with the message shown below:

New Date for Election Sign Blitz is September 15, 2011

New Date for Election Sign Blitz is September 15, 2011

This non-partisan message asks candidates from all political parties to make poverty elimination a priority concern in their election campaigns.

The signs would be displayed on the local properties of participating faith communities.

Each locality would choose a site for a press conference on September 15, 2011.

Faith institutions in communities such as Cornwall, Kingston, Belleville, Sudbury, Parry Sound, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Peel, Windsor and many others are preparing to participate.

Poverty Free Ontario and ISARC are looking into the production and distribution of the signs.

Please let us know the number of faith communities that are participating in your area.

We ask that you join this province-wide, cross-community initiative to send a message about ending poverty in Ontario to candidates running for provincial office in your community.

Contact us at info@isarc.ca for more information.”

Contact Info:

Rev. Brice Balmer
Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition
P.O. Box 25067 – SDM
Kitchener, ON N2A 4A5
(519) 884-0710 x 3927

bbalmer@wlu.ca
or
info@isarc.ca

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