Stand Up – Take Action – End Poverty Now!
For Immediate Release
October 14, 2011
The 2011 commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP), being recognized on Monday October 17, is focused on the theme "From Poverty to Sustainability: People at the Centre of Inclusive Development.”
To commemorate the spirit of inclusion behind this year’s theme, Canada Without Poverty, Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) and the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) encourage Canadians to join the international movement bringing attention to the worldwide crisis that we all face, poverty. From October 15-17, it is time to Stand up – Take Action – End Poverty Now!
“Joining the Stand up – Take Action – End Poverty Now! movement is one straightforward way that all Canadians can express solidarity with the purpose and rationale behind the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)” states Morel Caissie, CASW President. “The more Canadians identify with, and get behind the MDGs, the more pressure governments will have to meet their obligations for this world roadmap to end poverty and its root causes both at home and abroad.”
Along with 188 other nations, Canada made a historic promise in 2000 at the United Nations Millennium Summit to End Poverty by 2015 by signing the Millennium Declaration and agreeing to meet the MDGs.
“The Government of Canada has recently demonstrated commitment to meeting Millennium Declaration commitments through the G-8 Muskoka Initiative for Maternal Health” says Joe Gunn, CPJ Executive Director. “Unfortunately the government is missing a remarkable opportunity at home to lead the world by committing to a national plan to end poverty in Canada.”
In fact, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), the income gap between the rich and the rest of us in Canada has worsened over the past generation. A strong indicator is that during the 2008-2009 recession, the richest 20% of Canadians took home a whopping 44.2% of total after-tax income, in severe disparity to the poorest 20% whose after-tax income share was only 4.9%.
“Many countries are experiencing an increase in income inequity and Canada is no exception,” notes Rob Rainer, Canada Without Poverty’s Executive Director. “This is evidenced by the Conference Board of Canada recently concluding that Canada’s tax and transfer system is not reducing income inequality as much as it did prior to 1994.”
With the Millennium Declaration, Canada committed to a world roadmap to end poverty. It is time that this roadmap be applied to Canada through the development of a national plan to end poverty, complementary to the current and forthcoming plans of many provinces and territories.
Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) was founded in 1926 and has evolved into a national non-profit social work organization that promotes the profession of social work in Canada and advances social justice.
Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) promotes justice in Canada by shaping key public policy debates through research and analysis, publishing and public dialogue. CPJ encourages citizens, leaders in society and governments to support policies and practices which reflect God’s call for love, justice and stewardship.
Canada Without Poverty’s mission is to eradicate poverty in Canada, for the benefit of all. Governed by people with direct, personal experience of living in poverty, Canada Without Poverty contends that poverty is a violation of human rights and that poverty elimination is a human rights obligation.
For more information contact:
Fred Phelps, Executive Director
Joe Gunn, Executive Director
Citizens for Public Justice
Tel: (613) 867-0309
Rob Rainer, Executive Director
Canada Without Poverty
Tel: (613) 789-0096