Vote Child Care

Child CareSpring into Action for Child Care

Rally for child care sponsored by the Child Care Coalition of Manitoba
Manitoba Legislative Building
May 13th, 2015 at noon

Kirsten Bernas from Make Poverty History Manitoba will speak on child care as a priority from the View From Here.

Make child care a priority this federal election! Bring your picnic lunch and join Canadians across the country participating in activities during the week of action for child care.
Child care is good for the economy, good for families, good for Canada. Vote child care to give every parent the opportunity to contribute to the workforce, which puts money back into the pockets of Canadian families, and strengthens the economy.
For more information, please email or visit and on twitter #votechildcare2015

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A poverty reduction budget for Manitoba

The provincial government has responded to your calls to invest in housing in Budget 2015! MPHM partnered with Right to Housing on a campaign focused on two requests to the provincial government. The Province responded positively on both:

  1. Budget 2015 commits to fully implementing Rent Assist this year – that means Manitobans on Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) who live in private rental housing will receive a shelter benefit that is equal to 75% of median market rent (MMR) beginning in December 2015. See the table below for exact dollar amounts.Low-income Manitobans who are not on EIA may also be eligible to receive a shelter benefit through Rent Assist that is as high as 75% of MMR.
  2. Budget 2015 also allocates an additional $10 million for Manitoba Housing and Community Development. This budget will be sufficient to fund existing commitments to increase the housing supply without reducing other important housing initiatives.

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Finance minister gets used shoes for budget day

More than 200 people attended a rally last Thursday asking Finance Minister Greg Dewar and his colleagues to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes as they prepare Budget 2015. As a reminder of the more than 100,000 Manitobans living in poverty, community member Andrew Allary presented the finance minister with a pair of used size 12 dress shoes to wear on budget day April 30. Traditionally, finance ministers in Canada buy new shoes for budget day. Organizers hope that the concerns of Manitobans living in poverty will be addressed in this year’s budget. Continue reading

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Anti-poverty groups ask finance minister to walk in shoes of people in poverty

Anti-poverty advocates will gather at the steps of the Manitoba Legislature Thursday, April 23 at 12:00 pm to ask Finance Minister Greg Dewar and his colleagues to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes as they prepare Budget 2015.

Following the tradition of the finance minister wearing new shoes for budget day, organizers will present the minister with a pair of used shoes previously worn by a Manitoban living in poverty. The shoes will serve as a reminder to consider the over 100,000 Manitobans who live in poverty and to make poverty fighting measures a priority in next week’s budget.

Make Poverty History Manitoba and Right to Housing are asking the government to increase Rent Assist to 75% of median market rent for Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) recipients in this year’s budget. For a single person on EIA, Rent Assist would be increased by $151.

Rent Assist Chart

“It’s difficult to find an apartment in Winnipeg for under $600, but an individual on EIA only gets $435 for rent. That means they have to take money out of their already meagre food budgets,” said Kirsten Bernas, spokesperson for Make Poverty History Manitoba. “When the Province introduced Rent Assist last year, they committed to achieving the 75% target over four years. But people living in poverty can’t wait another three years, so we are asking the government to complete that commitment this year.”

The event organizers are also asking for Manitoba Housing’s budget to be increased by $30 million to adequately fund existing commitments to increase desperately needed housing supply.

“The Province should be congratulated for completing its commitment to build 1500 units of social housing over the past five years, but to pay the mortgages for these new builds, the housing budget will need to be increased. If there is no increase, there could be cutbacks on social supports and maintenance which are also essential for creating good communities in social housing,” said Clark Brownlee, chair of Right to Housing.

The rally is being organized by Make Poverty History Manitoba and Right to Housing. Make Poverty History Manitoba is coalition of organizations and individuals working to end poverty in Manitoba. The Right to Housing Coalition is a Winnipeg-based group of individuals and organizations from across the province, concerned about the shortage of affordable and social housing in Manitoba.

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Rally to Make Poverty History

Join us Thursday, April 23, 12 pm at the Manitoba Legislature. We will ask the finance minister to walk a mile in the shoes of people living in poverty. We are asking for measures to help end poverty in this year’s provincial budget:

  1. Increase the housing budget by $30 million to adequately fund existing commitments to increase supply without reducing other important housing initiatives including the existing social housing stock.
  2. Increase the maximum Rent Assist benefit level to equal 75% of median market rent.

Please invite your friends, colleagues and share this event with your contacts on Facebook and other social media:

For more information see our backgrounder.

Make Poverty History poster

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Making Priorities to Make Poverty History

MPHM TVFH Mar 10 2015On March 10, 2015 Make Poverty History Manitoba brought approximately 70 people together in Winnipeg to prioritize the public policy recommendations in The View From Here 2015: Manitobans call for a renewed poverty reduction planContinue reading

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Help Increase Housing Affordability in Manitoba

Help Increase Housing Affordability in Manitoba

Make Poverty History Manitoba (MPHM) is urging the Province of Manitoba to increase the Rental Allowance received by Manitobans who rely on Employment and Income Assistance (EIA).

EIA recipients are provided with a rental allowance that has increased marginally since 1992 when compared to market rents which have gone up by approximately 60-70% during the same period.

We are asking the Province to increase the rental allowance to 75% of median market rent. The Province estimates this will cost approximately $18.5 million annually. This is less than 1% of the Manitoba budget. The province will also need to index rates to inflation to ensure that rates do not fall behind in the future.

The time to increase the EIA rental allowance is long overdue. Manitobans need to join together to make it happen now.

We are collecting the names of organizations who support our proposal so we can demonstrate to the Province that there is a broad cross-section of Manitobans who believe all citizens should have acccess to safe and affordable housing. Please contact Kirsten Bernas at to indicate your support. The bigger and broader our list of supporters, the better.

Click here to access a document providing more information on this proposal which you can share with others to help us gain broader support.

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