Voters encouraged to make poverty an issue in provincial election
Billboard campaign asks voters to help Make Poverty History
(Winnipeg, March 1) – Drivers are being asked to think about something other than the traffic on their morning commute. Billboards put up by Make Poverty History Manitoba are asking viewers to think about poverty in the lead up to the provincial election.
The billboards feature the slogan ‘KNOW POVERTY’ with the letters ‘NO’ in red to highlight the link between understanding and ending poverty. The billboards also call on the electorate to vote to end poverty on April 19.
“Too often discussions about poverty get sidelined when elections roll around. Poverty is at the heart of all the most significant issues facing Manitoba,” said Josh Brandon, chair of Make Poverty History Manitoba. “For instance, poverty is one of the biggest drains on our health system. Poor housing, lack of income to buy nutritious food and inadequate access to mental health resources mean that poor people face acute and chronic conditions that put enormous strain on the system.”
Make Poverty History Manitoba is asking all parties to commit to priorities on poverty reduction, including making a comprehensive plan that sets targets and timelines for poverty reduction, building social housing, raising minimum wage, increasing social assistance, investing in mental health and funding universal child care.
These priorities were based on consultations with community organizations, academics and people living in poverty as the top actions government should take to reduce both the depth and extent of poverty in Manitoba.
“We can end poverty, but we need government to show leadership and voters need to demand action,” said Brandon.
Make Poverty History Manitoba is a coalition of groups and individuals working to end poverty in Manitoba. 60 organizations have signed on to support its KNOW Poverty campaign.