Community challenges politicians and public to K(NO)W poverty: Campaign launch

WINNIPEG, MB – Make Poverty History Manitoba (MPHM) is putting politicians in Manitoba on notice that the coalition expects concrete actions to end poverty in all political party’s platforms in the coming provincial election.

The coalition launches its campaign called “K(NO)W Poverty” December 15, 2016, at West Central Women’s Resource Centre in Winnipeg. The campaign draws attention to the right of all Manitobans to live in safe, affordable and supportive communities that meet their needs.  The campaign will engage politicians and voters to understand what poverty means in Manitoba and offer our top policy solutions to poverty in the province. Voters are encouraged to learn about poverty and to make informed voting decisions about how to end it.

“We can’t say no to poverty unless we know how poverty impacts all Manitobans,” says Josh Brandon, chair of Make Poverty History Manitoba. “Our most vulnerable citizens – people living in poverty – feel its effects every day, but all Manitobans can consider how they are impacted in different ways by poverty – for example in rising emergency or crisis-response costs, which can affect the overall availability of services.”

MPHM’s priorities call for investments in the social determinants of health and well-being, which are preventative in nature. “We need a comprehensive approach to poverty, which includes tackling its root causes,” explains Brandon.

The launch is the culmination of two years of community consultation involving dozens of community organizations. To date, 47 organizations have signed on to the list of priority recommendations. MPHM has a strong track record of successful advocacy for Rent Assist, social and affordable housing commitments and more child care spaces. More needs to be done and MPHM is calling for six poverty reduction commitments from all political parties:

  1. Minimum Wage: Raise the minimum wage to a poverty line wage of $15.53 per hour
  2. Social Housing: Build at least 300 new social housing units annually for five years
  3. Welfare Rate: Double the basic needs allowance for Employment and Income Assistance recipients
  4. Child Care: Create at least 12,000 subsidized childcare spaces in low-income neighbourhoods
  5. Mental Health: Double the funding allotted to community-based mental health services for low income Manitobans.
  6. Target and Timeline: Immediately establish a target and timeline for reducing poverty and social inclusion in Manitoba

MPHM will be seeking specific commitments from each political party in Manitoba on these priorities. It will also be developing educational materials and events for voters throughout the campaign. You can find background information on the 6 priorities, with the rationale and supporting evidence on MPHM’s website: https://makepovertyhistorymb.com/.

Event Launch: Dec 15, 10 am, West Central Women’s Resource Centre, 640 Ellice Avenue, Winnipeg, MB.

Contact: manitoba@makepovertyhistory.ca

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