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Broken Promises – Broken Canadian Families

Canadians are just beginning to prepare themselves for the season of Christmas. For Christians it is the moment when God took human form and renewed the hope of salvation for the world. Believers recount this story of an infant deity born into poverty so bleak that his first hours were spent in a barn “because there was no room for them in the inn.”

One month before Christmas 2009, Canadians were informed that almost one in every ten kids still lives in poverty in this, one of the richest countries on the face of the earth. On November 24th 1989 the Parliament of Canada unanimously voted to end child poverty by the year 2000. Today, after twenty years, this promise remains broken.

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Children's Rights: A tool for justice

On November 20, 2009 people around the world will mark the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  It is a time to celebrate progress made in respect for children as persons with dignity, worth, and value in society. The Convention is the most ratified of all human rights agreements – but implementation is very weak.

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Progress on poverty, one step at a time.

It can be easy to get discouraged. We’re being governed by a precarious minority parliament, the economy is still in the tank, and despite a 20-year-old commitment to change, almost one child out of every 10 still lives in poverty in Canada today. All that, and the short, dark days of winter are upon us.

Still, there are reasons to be hopeful. Over the last few weeks we have witnessed a steady stream of small successes that encourage the belief that change is possible.

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Can Canada change the climate in Copenhagen?

It's just six weeks until Canada joins other world leaders in Copnhagen to discuss the next global climate change agreement. Can Canada change it's tone and support an environmentally just plan, or will we continue to be labelled as unhelpful participants?

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Stand Up to End Poverty

October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. From October 16 to 18, we will join millions of people around the world from Bangalore to Vancouver – and many places in between – in “standing up” to draw attention to the urgent need for governments to take action to end poverty.

STAND UP AND TAKE ACTION TO END POVERTY NOW!
Parliament Hill
Friday, October 16 at 12 noon

Music, poetry and short speeches to inspire and encourage!

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Happy or Rich? Alternatives to the dominant growth model

In his 1998 address to CPJ’s Annual Membership Meeting, former Director of Public Affairs Gerald Vandezande spoke about the tremendous shortcomings of the current market system in a way that would resonate with many in the social development community around the world.

Fast-forward 10 years to February 2008 when French President Nicholas Sarkozy raised his concerns about – as he put it – “the limits of GDP as an indicator of economic performance and social progress.” Sarkozy’s musings prompted the creation of “The Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress,” chaired by renowned economist Joseph E. Stiglitz.

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Part V - A Deeper Look at GLI: What is it we value about work?

Money Many Canadians believe it is inappropriate to pay people for "doing nothing." This notion is related to our cultural norms and values around work and income security. Our cultural valuing of economic growth, and therefore productivity, affects how we value people and what we consider to be work worth doing. In order to truly value people and their activities, regardless of income, we need to relinquish our focus on productivity and re-focus our attention on people.

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Budget an opportunity to build economy of care

Budget decisions are unquestionably moral decisions: they reveal our values, affect how resources are allocated, and shape our common future as Canadians.We believe that our economy should be an economy of care, putting the well-being of people and of the earth at the heart of economic planning. By promoting dignity for all Canadians, strengthening social security, and supporting fairness and equal opportunity, Budget 2010 can help Canada to take steps towards an economy of care for all Canadians.

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Camp Delivers Highlights of Summer

Poverty Justice Camp, an Anglican Church event with participants from across Canada, was a week of intense experiences and reflections on poverty, charity, and justice. As a participant in the “urban poverty and homelessness” immersion group, I visited a number of service agencies and met a number of people they served. I was witness to the tremendous compassion and caring of front-line workers. The solidarity they demonstrated as they journey together with people facing marginalization and exclusion was truly inspirational.

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Canadian politics about power, not governance

With Parliament set to resume next week, it seems clear that the June show-down that resulted in the Blue Ribbon EI panel will resume where it left off. Accusations have been flying from both sides, and it looks likely this show-down will quickly move to the election arena.

In fact, this has been the pattern in the past few years of minority government: high stakes confrontations between political leaders, little or no policy vision, and attempts at cooperation destroyed by hyper-partisan behaviour. And rather than read the writing on the wall that minority governments are here for awhile, parties behave as if a majority government is inevitably beyond the next election. Everything is about that upcoming election: jockeying for position, scoring a few points, slinging mud at their opponents.

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