Help Build a Strong Canadian Anti-Poverty Plan

Consultations to inform the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy (CPRS) have begun! 

For the first time, the federal government is now ready to develop a national poverty reduction strategy. 

Make sure your voice is heard! Sign our Dignity for All form! 

On February 13th, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos, launched consultations for the CPRS. The government consultation process features opportunities for members of the public to share ideas and respond to questions that will inform the development of the national strategy, including a discussion forum, individual and organizational surveys, and a story sharing forum. Consultations end on June 30th. 

Use CPJ's resources to help guide an understanding of the framework and policies that should be part of a national strategy and to help your communities engage in the consultation process. (For printed copies of the CPRS resources, contact Darlene: darlene@cpj.ca.) 

Policy Recommendations

CPJ believes that the federal government must develop a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy (CPRS) that is grounded in and responsive to the experiences of the most vulnerable in Canadian society. 

Faith Community Resources

CPJ has been engaging with faith communities to share our work, to identify key policy priorities, and to provide updates about the federal process and the work of CPJ and the Dignity for All campaign. 

We encourage faith communities to participate in the consultations using the form below and the following resources:

Take action and have your voice heard!

As people of faith and justice, it is time to stand in solidarity with those who carry the burden of poverty and call out for a strategy that will improve the lives of millions of people across Canada. 

Let’s make sure the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy is strong, accountable, and promotes the dignity of all people. 

Read what people are saying:

"Canada’s poverty strategy needs to have measurable objectives – such as a significant reduction (and elimination) in the number of Canadians living in core housing need. Increasing Canada’s stock of affordable and supportive housing, and making housing more affordable through a housing benefit, would help address the most significant cost – and determinant of well-being – in Canadians’ lives."

—Mike Bulthuis, Executive Director, Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa

"I live in Ottawa and walk to and from work downtown. Nearly everyday I pass people sitting on the sidewalks asking passers-by for change or "anything you can give." Most people walk past without so much as looking their way, and to me, this is a part of the loss of dignity people suffering from poverty face and something I struggle to see. Not only do they have to stand on the streets and ask for money to get by, but because of the stigma of poverty most people won't even acknowledge them standing in plain view. There is a reflex to look away because people are uncomfortable with being asked to give in this way, and I think also with the reality of poverty in Canada. Canadians generally pride ourselves on being inclusive and having systems in place to make sure everyone is looked after. 

I am not perfect, I don't always stop and give when I see people asking for money on the streets. But I try to make a point of acknowledging them with making eye contact and a smile because we need to remember and recognize the humanity of those living in poverty and make sure our systems and policies are doing the same."

—Asha Kerr-Wilson, Public Justice Intern, CPJ

"I worked for nine years in Latin America and have travelled there often since living in Canada. In Guatemala, in particular we worked with indigenous people in land rights and property acquisition. Though there was opposition and violence that cost two lives at least, the final issuing of a title for a large plot of land owned communally by a Mayan language group significantly reduced poverty for that community because they could share in market gardening development together. In Canada, I've worked with lower income groups and refugees sponsored by churches I have pastored in three cities and remain in semi-retirement connected to resettling refugees to keep them OUT of poverty--something that works best, it seems, with private sponsorship projects associated with our church's continuing participation."

—James C. Dekker, Chair, Board of Directors, CPJ

"At its root, poverty is not about money but about distorted and marred relationships. It is about the divisions we create between “us” and “them” when we see life as a competition for scarce resources. And so poverty reduction efforts must aim to create a community where the distinctions between “us” and “them” no longer matter.

Because poverty isn’t a problem that needs to be fixed; it is a wound that needs to be healed."

—Derek Cook, Director, Canadian Poverty Institute (Taken from “Poverty Isn’t a Problem to be Fixed,” the Catalyst, Nov 2016)

"Over the last 12 years, through my association with The Catherine Donnelly Foundation, a charity established by the Sisters of Service religious community to which I belong, I have observed the importance of incorporating the lived experience of those in poverty when developing policy and programs. I encourage you to do the same in your consultation so that the solutions you implement can be truly relevant. I ask you to listen to and believe what you hear from those most affected by poverty. Please empower their voices by incorporating solid adult education practices; let youth inform your response to youth homelessness, let Indigenous People advise you on their housing, employment issues, and needs for equality in funding for on-reserve children; let the working poor inform you regarding supports for their families and communities."

—Sr. Mary-Ellen Francoeur, Sisters of Service 

"I am in Ottawa and as a board member of Citizens for Public Justice, I have a keen interest in poverty reduction in Canada. I am pleased to hear the government is taking leadership in the development of a national Anti-poverty plan and encourage the government to look at the resources and research already provided by CPJ."

— Mike Bos, Treasurer, Board of Directors, CPJ

"I am a London, ON and Area Co-chair of Bread not Stones, a national project of the United Church of Canada, to end child poverty in Canada. I urge you to fulfill the promise of our 1989 parliament to end child poverty in our rich country. Their goal was to achieve this by the year 2000. Obviously that didn't happen. I thank the government for the concrete measures you have implemented, but there is still much more to do. In particular, immediately close the welfare funding gap completely for First Nations children on Reserves and begin to address grotesque global income inequality by implementing a $15 minimum wage."  

Linda Woods, Bread Not Stones

"I am from rural Ontario, where I see many examples of people living in poverty. I have an elderly sister who is trying to live on her old age pension but needs extra help from her siblings. What about those who don't have a network of family and friends to supplement their income. I was involved intimately with the Keep The Promise campaign (2013-15) where children from across Canada engaged with each other and with their communities to learn about poverty and to call for an end to child poverty in Canada. I owe it to them to support their call."

----Michael Cooke, Keep the Promise