In the following letter, the Make Poverty History / Dignity for All campaign team urges Canadians to ask their MPs to support the the Act to Eliminate Poverty in Canada (Bill C-233):
November 24th is a special day in the fight against poverty.
On November 24th 1989, Canada’s House of Commons passed a unanimous all-party resolution to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000.
On November 24th 2009, the House passed another unanimous motion to “develop an immediate plan to eliminate poverty in Canada for all”.
And last November the House’s Human Resources Committee called for a federal poverty reduction plan with measurable targets and timelines.
The sad part is that nothing’s been implemented to date.
Twenty-two years, two unanimous House resolutions, and several reports calling for action, yet nearly 3,200,000 Canadians continue to live in poverty.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a law that required the federal government to take action?
Well there is just such a law now before Parliament. It’s called the Act to Eliminate Poverty in Canada (Bill C-233). A private members bill introduced by NDP MP Jean Crowder, Bill C-233 would require the federal government to consult with anti-poverty groups and people living in poverty, and then draw up a plan that includes targets and timelines for reducing poverty. This bill would lay the groundwork for real action.
In October, many of you sent a message to the Prime Minister about this very bill. This November 24, send the message to your MP. Ask him or her to support Bill C-233.
Private members bills rarely become law. But if enough MPs hear a strong message from their constituents, we can build a momentum that can’t be stopped.
To make the message even louder, we have a paper petition for you to download and print. Once you get 25 friends to sign the Bill C-233 Petition, you can ask your Member of Parliament to present it to the House of Commons.
Let’s get behind this proposed Poverty Elimination Act. Let’s insist the Federal Government make poverty history in Canada.
Thank you for your support!
For the Make Poverty History / Dignity for All campaign team”
Dignity for All: The Campaign for a Poverty-Free Canada is a national coalition of over 430 organizations and 7000 individuals co-convened by Canada Without Poverty, Citizens for Public Justice, and Make Poverty History. Together, we are calling for vigorous and sustained action by the federal government to combat the structural causes of poverty in Canada. www.dignityforall.ca.
Canada Without Poverty is a federally incorporated, non-partisan, not-for-profit and charitable organization with a mission to eliminate poverty in Canada by promoting income and social security for all Canadians, and by promoting poverty eradication as a human rights obligation. Canada Without Poverty was founded in 1971 as the National Anti-Poverty Organization. www.cwp-csp.ca.
Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) is a national organization of members inspired by faith to act for justice in Canada by shaping key public policy debates through research and analysis, publishing and public dialogue. Since 1963, CPJ has encouraged citizens, leaders in society and governments to support policies and practices which reflect God’s call for love, justice and stewardship. www.cpj.ca.
The Canadian Make Poverty History campaign was launched in February 2005 with the support of a wide cross-section of public interest and faith groups, trade unions, students, academics and literary, artistic and sports leaders. Make Poverty History is part of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) a global campaign pressing for action on global poverty issues. www.makepovertyhistory.ca.
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