Tell Mayor & EPC to pass the City’s first-ever Poverty Reduction Strategy!

After almost two years of work, The City of Winnipeg is set to release its Poverty Reduction Strategy on November 17, 2021. We need the Mayor and EPC to pass it! 

The strategy will be made public on November 12, 2021.

But, we need to make sure that the strategy passes AND lives up to the massive need in our community. 

Here’s what you can do:


Three years ago, our community called on the City to Lead on addressing poverty by releasing the Winnipeg Without Poverty report. With a strong case for what the city’s role can and should be, fifty recommendations for a comprehensive plan, and a powerful community campaign, the City has been listening.

We applaud the work of community-based organizations, people with lived experience who lent their expertise, time, and ideas to the strategy, as well as members of Council and the Public Service as we reach this milestone.

Make Poverty History MB has been part of a city-led co-creation process to develop this strategy.

This is an important moment for our city.

Having a Poverty Reduction Strategy in place will be important for your advocacy, activism, and work ending poverty in Winnipeg.

Roughly 1 out of 8 Winnipeggers live in poverty, and this situation has been made worse during the pandemic. 

Your voice is needed to make sure the strategy is the best it can be.

Our priorities for an effective strategy

Learn more about Make Poverty History’s 8 priorities for the City’s Poverty Reduction Strategy - essential initiatives that we believe must be included:

We anticipate that the Mayor of Winnipeg and city councillors will lead the City’s poverty reduction strategy and be public champions for poverty reduction. 

This includes, but is not limited to, recognizing the role that other levels of government need to play and calling on them to act in areas they are primarily responsible for.

We also anticipate that the City of Winnipeg’s poverty reduction strategy will demonstrate leadership by outlining specific actions that the City will take to reduce poverty using its own resources and governance tools. Make Poverty History Manitoba will be watching for the following priority actions when the strategy is released: 

    • A sliding scale low income bus pass program fully integrated with the Transit Plus program developed in consultation with community-based organizations
    • Study the cost of implementing fare free transit in Winnipeg
    • Hiring 7 staff dedicated to the development of new social and affordable rental housing and committing to contribute to the development of 150 units of social housing annually over ten years.
    • Ongoing anti-racism and anti-oppression training to all City employees as well as targeted training for first responders around non-violent crisis intervention, de-escalation, mental health first aid, trauma-informed care, and harm reduction.
  • JOBS
    • Targets for internal training & hiring and a city social procurement policy that creates opportunities for low-income people facing barriers to employment
    • Support for community-based poverty reduction efforts by reinstating the funding to community organizations that was cut in the 2020-2024 budget process.
    • A redirection of at least 10% of police funding to community-based organizations  that address the root causes of crime and expands support for 24-hour safe spaces.
    • The establishment of a representative community led Task Force to co-create policies to address long standing concerns about police accountability, violence, and systemic discrimination against Indigenous and Black communities.
    • The elimination of financial barriers to recreation programs and a 10% grant increase to community organizations delivering free recreation programs in low-income areas.
    • The structure responsible for implementation of the strategy has the authority to direct departmental activities to fulfill the goals of the strategy.
    • Adequate resources to implement the strategy in the city’s four-year budget cycle, focusing immediately on enacting the recommendations above as well as listed actions within the initial 18 month implementation plan.

Background: Towards a City Comprehensive Poverty Plan:

In May 2018, we launched a call for a City of Winnipeg poverty plan. Almost exactly one year later, the City of Winnipeg’s Executive Policy Committee unanimously passed a motion to create a Poverty Reduction Strategy. This is very promising news, and an important step toward a Winnipeg Without Poverty. Ending poverty saves lives and money. 

The City will spend time crafting its strategy, including an implementation plan for additional measures to address poverty.

Our campaign must continue over the next year to advocate for a visionary strategy with bold, justice-focused, and innovative policies.

Thanks to supporters, advocates, and community members for all your work over the last year to build momentum for this to happen. This would not have happened without strong community support for a Winnipeg Without Poverty! Let's keep the momentum going!

Why a Plan?

Did you know up to 107,000 Winnipeggers are living in poverty? We believe that all levels of government have a responsibility to work toward ending poverty and supporting social inclusion for all people.

In our city, 35% of Indigenous Winnipeggers live in poverty, compared to 14% of non-Indigenous Winnipeggers. A city plan to take action to reduce poverty among Indigenous peoples is an essential part of the City's Journey to Reconciliation.

The city can support ending homelessness through innovative & inclusive ideas that increase safe & affordable housing - and this is most effective as part of a comprehensive plan.

Better public transit services and accessible transit through programs like a low-income bus pass are essential as part of a pathway out of poverty.

The City has an important role to play in its services, policies, and bylaws that impact people living in poverty. High levels of poverty in Winnipeg increase dollars spent on police & emergency services, crime, and social services. Ending poverty saves lives, and money. We can achieve a Winnipeg Without Poverty, but we need a plan to get there.

Many comprehensive public policy ideas are all possible. Fifty recommendations are included in Make Poverty History Manitoba’s comprehensive community-based plan - Winnipeg Without Poverty: Calling on the City to Lead. The City of Winnipeg should use this plan, based on the priorities and knowledge of the community, as well as continued collaboration with community, to develop a Winnipeg poverty reduction strategy.

We Need Your Support!

  • Sign the petition, join our mailing list, and join other Winnipeggers who believe in this vision.

Endorse the plan!

  • The plan has been endorsed by more than 90 organizations from across the city.
  • If you would like to add your organization’s name to the list of endorsers, please click here.

Cheering on a Unanimous vote to create a Winnipeg Poverty Strategy

Report Launch - May 2, 2018

October 2018 Mayoral Forum

Report Launch - May 2, 2018

Speaking to Executive Policy Committee