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Make Poverty History

Dignity for all. The campaign for a poverty free Canada

Current Issues

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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News bites

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• Campaign 2000's Laurel Rothman to give a lecture on How Canada Can Meet Its Commitment to End Child Poverty in Canada at University of Lethbridge on Sept. 18, 2014 (Sep. 2014)
• Read the recent Toronto Star article on “children becoming the new face of homelessness in New York City” (Sept. 2012)
Federal Transfers Vital to Social Health (OP Ed by Laurel Rothhman published in Toronto Star, July 19, 2011)
What the Parties Say on Poverty - Press release (Apr.28, 2011)
NDP moves quickly to comprehensively address poverty for all Canadians (Apr. 10, 2011)
• Are you a women in Ontario raising children on your own? We want to hear from you. (March, 2011)
Debate: Canada needs a national child-care policy(Feb. 11, 2011)
• Welfare design outdated, counterproductive; more effective solutions exist says new National Council of Welfare report
(Dec. 14, 2010)
• BC blog: One in seven B.C. kids lives in poverty (Nov. 24, 2010)
Montreal Gazette: 1 in 10 Canadian children living in poverty (Nov. 24, 2010)
Federal Poverty Reduction Plan: Working in Partnership Towards Reducing Poverty in
- HUMA report recommends the federal government commit to an action plan to reduce poverty. Read C2000 and partners' response to the report: English and French (Nov. 18, 2010)
The Power of Taxes: The Case for Investing in Canadians - just released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Oct. 29, 2010
Mr. Flaherty: Don't cut transfers on social programs - Letter to editor, Globe and Mail, Oct. 14, 2010
Read Fight Poverty to Spur Recovery - Op-Ed by Laurel Rothman and Trish Hennessy published in Toronto Star on Jul. 24, 2010
• C2000 Press Release: New poverty figures show poverty eradication must be part of recession recovery (Jun 17, 2010
• Martha Friendly receives the 2010 Rosemarie Popham Family Advocacy Award (Jun 9, 2010)
Rosemarie Popham Family Advocacy Award open for nominations. Learn more and nominate on-line on Family Service Toronto website (Apr 28, 2010).
• Ontario Budget - Little Help for Low Income Families. Read press release (Mar. 26, 2010)
Women and children still last: No thank you, Mr. Flaherty! C2000's response to 2010 Federal Budget (Mar 4, 2010)
Ontario Pointed in the Right Direction on Early Learning
Campaign 2000 (17 Jun 09) - Ontario Campaign 2000 welcomes the recommendations of the Pascal report on full-day learning for 4 and 5 year olds in Ontario.
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