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Make Poverty History

Dignity for all. The campaign for a poverty free Canada

Current Issues

Budget 2016: A historic step forward in Canada’s battle against child poverty

Campaign 2000 sees Budget 2016 as a historic step forward in Canada’s battle against child poverty.  Investments targeting children and families in poverty lay the ground work to turn the tide against Canada’s child poverty epidemic which plagues nearly 1 in 5 children overall and over 40% of Indigenous children.

Budget 2016 boosts incomes through the Canada Child Benefit, which is projected to lift 300,000 children out of poverty. Other positive first steps include investments in First Nations child welfare, education, housing and clean water on reserve; improvements to Employment Insurance; funding for affordable housing and a commitment to developing a National Housing Strategy.

Unfortunately, the budget delays indexation of the Child Benefit to Inflation until 2020, as well as much needed funding for childcare until 2017-18. It also fails to allocate funds for the development of the promised Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy and the implementation of the 94 Calls to Action from Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The new Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will be delivered to low and moderate income families starting in July. “It is very positive that the needs of the over 1.34 million children living in poverty in Canada were not eclipsed by recent, fevered discussions of reducing the deficit. Investing in families and children in low and modest income makes smart economic sense. Boosting local economies while building more equitable futures for children is a win-win,” says Anita Khanna, Campaign 2000’s National Coordinator. “We are now looking for the Federal Government to initiate agreements with the provinces and territories to ensure no portion of the CCB is deducted or clawed back from families on social assistance, who live on some of the lowest incomes in the country.

This can be achieved through adding a condition to the Canada Social Transfer that prohibits claw backs. Government should also plan for long term increases in the CCB to such a level that it reduces child poverty by 50% in 5 years as part of a strong Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.” 

Read our press release: English and French

Campaign 2000 Calls on All F-P-T Social Service Ministers to Focus on Ending Poverty & Child Poverty in Upcoming Gathering in Edmonton, Alberta

On the eve of the February 4-5th Federal-Provincial-Territorial social service ministers meeting, I am writing to you as the National Coordinator of the Campaign 2000 network, a cross-Canada movement to end child and family poverty in Canada. We recognize this meeting as an important step in advancing much-needed and long-awaited progress on vital social programs for Canadians living in poverty. 

As you and your colleagues share information, establish priorities and determine a plan to move forward on common goals, we urge you to ensure the goal of reducing and preventing poverty informs all policy decisions. With over 1.33 million Canadian children and families living in poverty today, and the Federal Government committed to collaboratively developing a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy, ending poverty must be a central focus of your discussions.

Read the full letter.

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal finds the Canadian government is racially discriminating against 163,000 First Nations children

Campaign 2000 wishes to celebrate this landmark victory with our partners and friends across Canada.  On Tuesday, our dear friend/partner Cindy Blackstock and the Assembly of First Nations won their landmark human rights case on discrimination against First Nations children with respect to child welfare funding.   

Campaign 2000 has been tracking the case and profiling it for years in our annual Report cards.  We’ll continue to work closely with our partners and friends and show our solidarity. 

Below are weblinks to some of the news releases and news coverage about this case in more details:

Federal Government must Ensure Families on Social Assistance Benefit from CCB to Reduce Child Poverty

Campaign 2000 has sent a letter to Federal Ministers of Finance and Families, Children and Social Development, copying all provincial and territorial ministers responsible for income assistance and finance, recognizing the upcoming meeting of Canada’s Finance Ministers on December 20-21 is an important opportunity to advance much-needed and long-awaited progress on vital social programs.

The letter states “The consistent position of Campaign 2000 and its partners is that all children and families in poverty must see a direct benefit in their incomes from any improvements in child benefits. All children should be treated equally regardless of the source of their parents’ income. Therefore, we urge the federal government to take the lead on entering into agreements with the provinces and territories to ensure that no clawbacks or deductions are permitted on any portion of the CCB from social assistance/income support benefits. Of course, this could be accomplished by adding this as a condition for receiving the Canada Social Transfer.

Children in families in receipt of social assistance/income support live in legislated poverty throughout Canada, with incomes well below any measure of poverty. The CCB is poised to be a game-changer for these families. A fair and just Canada must enable every child to escape poverty. Permitting clawbacks or deductions of any type would be a step backwards, unjustly punishing children for their family’s source of income. For this reason, we hope that the provinces and territories will ensure that increases in the CCB will actually enhance the income of all eligible families and that they will refrain from taxing back or deducting any increases from benefits, in the name of poverty eradication.”

Download and share the letter in English and/or French.

Speech from the Throne must Prioritize Children & Families in Poverty

End Child and Family Poverty in Canada will focus on how the Speech from the Throne addresses the urgent need for immediate action to eradicate child and family poverty in Canada. “We recognize the significant poverty reduction potential of the commitments from the new federal government and we are focused on how and when these commitments will be put into action to create meaningful change for children and families in poverty,” says Anita Khanna, National Coordinator for Campaign 2000.

While federal politicians committed to eliminate poverty among children in 1989, 2009, and 2015, it is worse today than in 1989. Poverty plagues 1.33 million children, almost 1 in 5 in Canada, and 1 in 2 Status First Nations children. Read full press release.

2015 Report Cards on Child and Family Poverty in Canada: Let’s End Child Poverty for Good

Tuesday, November 24

The 2015 report card, entitled Let’s Do This: Let’s End Child Poverty for Good outlines the once in a generation opportunity before Canada to eradicate child and family poverty. With the federal government committed to collaboratively developing a national poverty reduction strategy, Canada must seize the opportunity to finally end the child poverty crisis for good.

The report card offers practical policy recommendations to all political parties to redress the persistence of child poverty in Canada.  Campaign 2000 presents the latest statistics on child and family poverty and outlines how it impacts on multiple dimensions of children’s lives – including health, mental health, educational achievement and future employment opportunities.

Several Campaign 2000 partners’ are also releasing their provincial report cards on child and family poverty on November 24th, with media events planned in Vancouver, British Columbia; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Charlottetown, PEI.  Please click on the following links for all report cards:

Click to read our media releases, in either English or French

Take action via Make Poverty History to contact Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today!  Send a copy of our letter with urgent actions to the Prime Minister today.

Release of Canada’s 2015 National Report Card on Child and Family Poverty

Toronto, Nov. 20: Campaign 2000 will release its annual National Report Card on Child and Family Poverty on Tuesday, November 24th in Toronto. The 2015 report, Let’s Do This: Let’s End Child Poverty for Good calls on the federal government to seize the opportunity to reduce and eventually eradicate child and family poverty in Canada. 

The report includes recommendations for federal government action, in collaboration with its provincial, territorial and First Nations counterparts. Read media advisory.

Toronto Lane Renamed in Honour of Rosemarie Popham

On a recent rainy Saturday afternoon, two dozen family members, friends, neighbours and FST colleagues gathered to celebrate and remember the late Rosemarie Popham as an east end laneway was renamed in her honour. Rosemarie was a remarkable activist and highly respected child poverty advocate in Canada. She served as the National Coordinator of Campaign 2000: End child and family poverty in Canada, and Director of Social Action, now the Social Action and Community Building department, at Family Service Toronto until her untimely death in October 1997.

"East-end lane named in honour of child and family advocate - A charming lane in the Upper Beach now bears the name of one of the community’s most respected residents, Rosemarie Popham."  Read more about this event at: http://m.insidetoronto.com/news-story/6063164-east-end-lane-named-in-honour-of-child-and-family-advocate.


Mapping Child Poverty: A Reality in Every Federal Riding 

No riding in Canada is immune from child poverty, according to the latest research from Campaign 2000: End Child and Family Poverty in Canada.

A striking new series of maps demonstrates that child and family poverty persists in every riding nation wide.  With over 1.3 million children living in poverty in Canada, the issue affects all Canadians and must be addressed by all parties before election day on October 19th. This is the first time that child poverty rates have been mapped by riding from coast to coast to coast.       

Read Campaign 2000 Media Release about this story in English and French.

Read our Research Backgrounder and learn about trends, our analysis and recommendations.
See our newest infographic highlighting the reality of child poverty in every riding/community across Canada.  Feel free to share widely! We are on twitter, @Campaign2000, and on Facebook as Campaign 2000.

Click on the following interactive maps below for more info on child poverty by riding:

Click on regional maps below in pdf for more info.
Map of British Columbia
Map of the Prairies
Map of Ontario and Quebec
Map of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area)
Map of Atlantic Provinces 
Map of Canadian Territories

The Case for Federal Leadership against Poverty
The maps highlight that child poverty is an issue in every federal riding. This is contrary to claims that it is not an issue in more affluent parts of the country.  Wealthy ridings in wealthy cities are home to high numbers of low income children and families. This is the case in Toronto Centre, which is a riding mixed with wealthy and low-income neighbourhoods. The child poverty rate there is a startling 37.8%.

Campaign 2000 Short Grid on Party Platforms
To learn more about where each federal party stands on eradicating child/family poverty, click here for more detailed analysis and comparison of party platforms.  This document is put together based on publicly available information as of 10:00AM EST, Wednesday, Oct. 7th, 2015. 

Child and Family Poverty - A Key Election Issue  

It's federal election time! Let's talk about all the key issues that federal parties need to address in fighting child and family poverty.  Today, we're starting with a New Infographic entitled "Canada Needs a National Housing Strategy".  More infographics on other key topics will be coming shortly.

Feel free to share widely! We are on twitter, @Campaign2000, and on Facebook as Campaign 2000.

You can share and retweet our posts to your followers. Use the hashtags #elxn42 #cdnpoli #childpoverty and #VoteHousing4All to ignite conversations about poverty over Twitter and Facebook.

Campaign 2000/FST’s Youth Mobilizing to End Poverty Project

Check out this week’s Youth-made Digital Short Story and Poster.

Oct.16, 2015

Why Should You Care About Youth Unemployment film by Justin Guo, 15yrs old

Poverty Food (in)security. "A healthy diet costs $2000 more than an unhealthy one" National post. Why does healthy food cost more? "Food Security exists when all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious  food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life." - FAO.org

Left: Poverty is Covert Poster made By Catherine Ross in the Youth Mobilizing to End Poverty Projec.

Right: Food (IN)Security Poster made by Amina Ali in the Youth Mobilizing to End Poverty Project

Discussion Questions:

 1.    What are some of the effects of increasing youth unemployment?
 2.    Which political parties are committed to increasing the minimum wage to $15/hr?  Why is raising the minimum wage important to end child and family poverty?

Make your vote count. End Child and Family Poverty for good.

Oct. 9, 2015

Rainy Day film by El Nino Martinez in the Youth Mobilizing to End Poverty Project

With only 10 days left til the Federal Election, we need to urge all Parties to end poverty for good.

Ontario Needs Affordable Daycare Poster made By Teagan Rooney in the Youth Mobilizing to End Poverty Project

Discussion Questions:

  1. Which Canadian Provinces are affected by child poverty?
  2. What are Campaign 2000’s recommendations to eradicate child poverty?

We will be posting Campaign 2000/Family Service Toronto’s Youth-Made digital short videos and posters beginning September 23, 2015 on our blog and youtube channel - please make sure you subscribe.  

Oct. 2, 2015: Youth-made Digital Short Story and Posters.

Justice – Campaign Against Poverty   film by Justice Igweze  

No money, less problems
Land of Opportunity and Equality: Children represent more than 10% of Rising BillsCanada's homeless. 25 Years ago all parties agreed to end child poverty in Canada - this has not happened. Keep the promise! Poverty is the worst form of violence - Mahatma Gandhi. Rising bills. Social Economic Barriers. Low ages. Unstable part-time jobs. High costs of living

Left: Mo Money Less Problems   Poster by Sarah Anderson in the Youth Mobilizing to End Poverty Project
Right: The Canadian Dream?   Poster made By Abi Arunan in Youth Mobilizing to End Poverty Project

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does living in poverty affect our hopes and dreams?
  2. In the video Justice said his parents did the best they could but it wasn't enough. Why is this reality for many Canadian's living in poverty now? What factors stop people from living their 'Canadian Dream'?

Videos and posters will be released in the 26 days leading up to the Federal Election to signify that it has been 26 years since the House of Commons voted unanimously to end child poverty by the year 2000.

For more information on Youth Mobilizing to End Poverty, please contact Patrick Salvani at patricksa@familyservicetoronto.org.

Campaign 2000/FST’s Youth Mobilizing to End Poverty Project

Family Service Toronto & Campaign 2000 worked with a group of energetic and creative youth volunteers aged 13-24 in creating both digital short videos and posters that highlight the need to end Child and Family Poverty in Canada. Youth Voices are important to consider when you cast your vote in the October Federal Election.

A Post-Apocalyptic World Called Poverty - short video by Tiffany

Left: Help Make the First Steps  Poster made By Jennifer Lau in Youth Mobilizing to End Poverty Project (to download full size, click on the poster image)
Right: Need Shelter? Poster by Teagan Rooney in the Youth Mobilizing to End Poverty Project (to download full size, click on the poster image)

We will be posting Campaign 2000/Family Service Toronto’s Youth-Made digital short videos and posters beginning September 23, 2015 on our blog and youtube channel - please make sure you subscribe.  

Thank You, Amazing Youth Volunteers!

On behalf of Family Service Toronto and Campaign 2000 we wanted to thank all the amazing youth volunteers who took part in the 2015 Youth Mobilizing to End Poverty Project. The volunteers learned and developed skills in video-making and artistic expression to create both digital short videos and posters that highlight the need to end child and family poverty in Canada.

The project might have come to an end in August, but the lasting impact of the videos and posters are yet to be seen. Youth Voices are important to consider when you cast your vote in the upcoming October 19th Federal Election. Stay tuned for more news on where the digital short videos will be screened and where you can view the videos and posters online.

Use the federal campaign to fight child poverty

With an early debate about supporting families underway, Canada has the opportunity to shed its shameful record on child poverty, says Campaign 2000.

Read the op-ed from Campaign 2000, by our very own Anita Khanna and Sid Frankel (a long-time Campaign 2000 partner and steering committee member in Winnipeg), in today's Toronto Star online edition.

Seizing Opportunities to Reduce Child and Family Poverty.

Campaign 2000, along with its diverse, cross-Canada partner organizations, is pleased that progressive policy proposals for families are back on the national agenda with several new federal-level policies aimed at low, modest and middle-income families announced over the past few weeks. Campaign 2000 has consistently called for an enhanced national child benefit and other vital policy changes in order to eradicate child and family poverty in Canada.

Read our response to the proposals released to date: Seizing Opportunities to Reduce Child and Family Poverty - English or French.

Below are a few media articles about the latest announcements that we thought you'd find of interest:

MacLean's: Let the great family tax battle begin  (Note: This article references Campaign 2000's proposal on the child benefit and our 2014 Report Card)
Globe and Mail: On tax cuts, Trudeau shouldn't play on the Tories' turf
Toronto Star: Trudeau ready to battle Tories with tax cuts
Toronto Star: NDP would close tax loophole on stock option earnings, Thomas Mulcair says
Globe and Mail: Seniors the runaway winners in pre-election budget
National Post: Stephen Maher: Joe Oliver's first federal budget less progressive than the late Jim Flaherty's plans

Campaign 2000 responds to Federal Budget 2015

Media Release: Missing the Target: Children and Families in Poverty Left Out of Budget 2015

Touted as family-friendly, the 2015 federal budget misses its target by providing costly tax cuts to the wealthy at the expense of the pressing needs of the majority of Canada's children and families, including those in poverty. 

"This budget is out of step with the realities of the majority of families in Canada who struggle to afford child care and housing on virtually stagnant incomes from coast to coast to coast. Over 19% of children in Canada, 1.3 million, live in poverty, yet this budget will not address their struggles," said Anita Khanna, National Coordinator of Campaign 2000.  "Low and moderate income families are left out of the vision for Canada outlined in this budget. Targeting tax relief to those in the highest income brackets through income splitting and increasing the limit on Tax Free Savings Accounts, while increasing the Universal Child Care Benefit, is expensive, inefficient and a sure path to greater income inequality."

Read Campaign 2000's full English or French media release.


Open Letter asks Federal Leaders to issue their Anti-Poverty Plan to Voters

A Campaign 2000 open letter sent March 11 calls on each party to issue a national anti-poverty plan as part of the next federal election campaign. In February 2015, all parties voted in favour of Motion-534 on Eliminating Child Poverty, which calls on Government "to work in collaboration with the provinces, territories and First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities to eradicate child poverty in Canada by developing a national poverty reduction plan."

The letter addressed to all party leaders comes in time for March Break. The annual break can be a stressful time for families who lack access to affordable, high quality childcare or who cannot afford to send their children to fee-based programs. This is especially difficult for working parents and those trying to enhance their earning power through education or training.  With almost 1 in 5 children in Canada living in poverty and a poverty rate of 40% among Indigenous children, child poverty must be a priority in the next federal election campaign.

What can federal politicians do to end child  and family poverty in Canada?

Campaign 2000 recently met with Photojournalisim students at Centennial College interested in learning more about child poverty in Canada. Despite the cold, the students took to the streets of Toronto, asking passers by to respond to this statement:

"Twenty-five years ago, every single member of Canada's Federal Parliament pledged to end child poverty by the year 2000. We are now 14 years past that deadline and the child poverty rate is higher than it was in 1989.

That's not inevitable-- Denmark and Norway have pushed child poverty rates below 7%.  We could too.

As we approach a general election in 2015, what do you think today's politicians should do to make good on the pledge to end child poverty for the next generation of kids?"

Thank you to the students involved in this project for your initiative and hard work in completing these videos:
Jeffrey Tse, November Chernick, Akorede Amosun, Xue Bo, Nicole Dawe, Ashleen Grange, Sayada Nabi, Dannika, Russel, Victoria Sue, Fatima Texiwala, Zayhll Willis-Andrew, Bodgdan Stanciu, Roy Herron, Jonathan Costa, Amil Delio.

Special thanks to Neil Ward, professor at Centennial College and to Armine Yalnizyan.

Marking 25 Years since Canada’s House of Commons’ Unanimous Resolution to End Child Poverty in Canada

Campaign 2000 released its new Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada on Monday, November 24th in Toronto.  This year marks 25 years since the unanimous House of Commons’ resolution to end child poverty in Canada and five years after the entire House of Commons voted “to develop an immediate plan to end poverty for all in Canada.”  The year 2014 also marks the centennial anniversary of our host agency, Family Service Toronto, which is celebrating a century of providing vital community services in Toronto.

The 2014 national report card highlights the compelling reasons why the federal government needs to take leadership and develop a national plan to end child and family poverty.  It will present the latest statistics on child and family poverty and make recommendations for all political parties. A Breakfast on the Hill event is scheduled in Ottawa and all MPs and Senators will be invited to attend and urged to take action.

On the same day, several of Campaign 2000 provincial partners released their provincial report cards on child and family poverty, including Vancouver, BC; Edmonton, Alberta; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Toronto, Ontario; Saint John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Charlottetown, PEI.

Please click on the following links for those report cards:

To read our media release, please click on English or French for more details.,

Join us and take e-action to send a message to MPs and all the federal party leaders today in English or French. Working jointly with our Make Poverty History partner, we’re launching the e-Action to press all the elected leaders to develop and implement a comprehensive poverty elimination plan for Canada.


Urgent Call to Action - Bill C-585 threatens social assistance for refugee claimants

Bill C-585 is a federal Private Member's Bill which has serious implications for the income security of refugee claimants and other people without permanent status in Canada. If passed, the Bill would allow provinces to restrict access to social assistance benefits for these groups by imposing minimum residency requirements for eligibility.

The Bill does this by eroding the last remaining "national standard" for the Canada Social Transfer which prevents provinces from imposing a minimum period of residency for social assistance eligibility. Taking action now is critical because Bill C-585 is scheduled to be debated at Second Reading on September 16, 2014. Expressing opposition before this date could lead to the Bill being defeated or withdrawn.

An Information and Action Kit can be downloaded in both English and French, to help you understand and respond to Bill C-585. It includes a Backgrounder, a template letter to MP's, a list of email addresses for all MPs, and recommended actions to oppose this Bill.

One immediate action you can take is to circulate the Information and Action Kit as widely as possible to your members, networks, and others who might be interested. 
Other actions you should take as soon as possible are:

  • Send a letter to MP's, using the template letter as a guide, to tell them to vote against the Bill
  • Ask your members and/or those you circulate the kit to, to send a letter to MP's
  • Post the Kit on your website and ask your members and others to do the same.

Please remember to bcc all correspondence to isac@lao.on.ca

How Canada can meet its commitment to end child poverty in Canada

Campaign 2000's Recent Pre-Budget Submission to the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Finance, August 2014

More children and their families lived in poverty as of 2011 than they did in 1989 when the House of Commons unanimously resolved to end child poverty in Canada. This situation is not inevitable, but rather is the result of policy decisions that have been made over time. Read Campaign 2000's full submission.

Aug. 14, 2014

The case against for-profit 'big box' child care

Toronto Star Commentary, Aug. 07, 2014: Child care should be a public good to benefit all, not a business whose goals may have little to do with serving children, families and community.

Read Campaign 2000 Op-Ed on the case against for-profit big box child care submitted to Toronto Star by Laurel Rothman, Campaign 2000 National Coordinator, and Martha Friendly, Childcare Resource and Research Unit.

Campaign 2000 launches new joint projects

Campaign 2000 is partnering with a few national organizations on two new exciting projects, including:

Home-based Childcare – More than a Home: A convening project to engage parents, childcare providers and others in proposing practical solutions, with funding from the Metcalf Foundation.

Child and Family Homelessness Initiative, partnering with Raising the Roof Canada. Click below for more details on the project: http://www.raisingtheroof.org/Our-Programs/Child---Family-Homelessness.aspx

Federal Budget 2014:  Children in Poverty Wait while Surplus Accumulates

Canada’s 2014 Federal Budget has no clear strategies to address Canada’s 14.3% child poverty rate and is out of step with Canadian values of caring about our neighbours’ children. “Canadians are deeply committed to their communities and neighbours and they understand that eradicating child poverty is a collective responsibility,” said Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator of Campaign 2000. “In this federal budget, government fails to play a leadership role in implementing policies that can improve the lives of over 967,000 children living in poverty in Canada. Campaign 2000 urges the government to dedicate half of the $6.5 billion projected surplus for 2015 to poverty reduction this year. Children and families in poverty should not be forced to wait for action that secures their basic dignity.”

To read Campaign 2000’s full response to the federal budget 2014, read the press release in English and French.

CCPA releases new alternative federal budget 2014

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) just released its new 2014 alternative federal budget on Feb. 5, 2015.  The Alternative Federal Budget 2014: Striking a Better Balance shows what the federal government could do if it decided to seriously address Canadians’ largest social, economic, and environmental concerns. It delivers a plan that would lift 855,000 Canadians out of poverty, reduce income inequality, boost the economy, lower unemployment to 5.4%—and still balance the budget one year later than the federal government plan. Specifically, it proposes to double the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) in order to re­duce child poverty by 26% (Cost: $3.1 billion/year).

To learn more visit the alternative budget home page.

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