Do You Know About Poverty? kNOw Poverty is our campaign for a Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy and key government action to end poverty in Manitoba.
There are 108,000 Manitobans living in poverty.
Bold targets and timelines focus attention on what is to be achieved and by when. By setting goals, targets and timelines, there is a better chance that a policy will succeed and meet established outcome targets. To read more about why Manitoba needs an updated plan, click here.
In March 2019, the Province of Manitoba released its renewed poverty reduction strategy, Pathways to a Better Future: Manitoba’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, followed by a provincial budget. The renewed poverty reduction strategy and its accompanying 2019 budget did not live up to expectations, with a target and timeline for Manitoba that was already met. The government's strategy hardly takes any significant, comprehensive actions, while they have simultaneously cut key services that would improve the lives of Manitobans. For this reason Make Poverty History Manitoba released the report Failing Grade: Manitoba Poverty Reduction Strategy and Budget 2019
In addition to the overall strategy, we believe that Manitoba's plan needs action on 5 key themes.
These priorities were based on broad community consultations. These key policies will have the greatest impact on both addressing the depth of poverty, and in affecting the widest number of people experiencing poverty.
- Minimum Wage: Raise the minimum wage to a poverty line wage of $15.53 per hour
- Social Housing: Build at least 300 new social housing units annually for five years
- Livable Basic Needs Benefit: Double the basic needs allowance for Employment and Income Assistance recipients
- Child Care: Create at least 12,000 subsidized childcare spaces with priority in low-income neighbourhoods
- Mental Health: Double the funding allotted to community-based mental health services for low income Manitobans.
Listen to these stories about the reality of poverty in Manitoba. kNOw Poverty. Make it History.
This is Rina Hermkens.
“I think having a solid, safe home is important to sobriety, and being in poverty, I struggled to keep it. ... My home is where my sanctuary is. I build on myself. I feel safe. I help others, and it’s a big part of my sobriety.”
This is Erika Frey.
"If we really want people to be economically sufficient, we have to provide all the steps that are going to make it long term. Because it’s not enough for someone to just get a job. There’s a longer term to maintain the job that allows people to grow. I think that’s good for individuals, but it’s good for the economy as well. Everyone has goals of making life better than what it is and we should have a system in such a rich country like this one that supports people to do that.”
This is Debby Sillito.
"If they bring out the Livable Basic Needs Benefit, that would change a lot of things for people. There will be less people visiting the hospital, there would be less mental health issues, there would be less people going hungry. There would be less crime, because wouldn't have to steal to get things. It would be a better place to live. ... People on EIA don't want to be on EIA, right? They're stuck on EIA, and that's the problem."
This is Kerry Weymen.
"With Harvest and welfare and my kids, I've gained so much. I'm not ever going to stop volunteering here. ... I don't think I'd be able to get a job either, because of my seizure disorder. ... After my rent and hydro paid, I'm reduced to $100 a month, and I'm supposed to try and live."
This is Desiree McIvor.
"It wouldn't be worth it for me to just get out of poverty, if I couldn't take all my brothers and sisters with me. So part of breaking the cycle for me was going to back to school and doing something different, so that my children didn't have to live the way that I lived. Instead of making cuts, we need more programs to help them, to find themselves...
If the government wants to help, they have to stop cutting things that are important to people."
This is Al Wiebe.
"There are so many barriers to get ahead. The problem is that more barriers are being put in the way. [The goverment] is taking money away from those in poverty, rather than doing what they can to help them.
They had a policy for people to search for work, and what they did with that was cut that by $25.
Where's the motivation to actually go out there and find work when the government is actually fighting you on it?
Human life is a cost. People die because of poverty and not meeting nutritional needs. There are many little costs. ... Poverty costs the health care system. It increases our health care costs because people can't look after themselves."
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