EndPovertyEdmonton has dispensed the startling statistics around poverty in our city. We know that it will take all of us working together to end poverty and now is the time for your voice to be heard.
We are currently less than two weeks away from the federal election and so far we have heard the political parties debate many issues along the campaign trail. But what has been ostensibly lacking is a conversation around poverty in our country.
Municipalities and provinces have been working across Canada to develop their own strategies to reduce and to eliminate poverty. Within the last week, EndPovertyEdmonton has hosted six separate community engagement sessions to gain insight on how we can make our Strategy stronger. There are many more planned for the coming weeks along with various open houses and an online survey. We know we will need to collaborate with every sector within Edmonton if we want to reach our goal. One of the most important partners that Edmonton, and every municipality and province who have been bold enough to tackle poverty, needs is the federal government. Presently, there is no national strategy that deals with poverty. This needs to change.
Our Strategy highlights the need for civic engagement, bringing a human rights lens, the importance of leveraging and building local partnerships and the important work in breathing the treaty spirit in our quest towards reconciliation with Edmonton’s Aboriginal population. Today Edmonton Social Planning Council and Edmonton Community Foundation launched their 2015 Vital Signs report featuring Aboriginal life in Edmonton. It's full of statistics, insights and ideas that speak to the strategic asset of our young, mobile and significant Aboriginal population. Check it out at http://www.vitalsignscanada.ca/en/foundations-39-edmonton-community-foundation. Use this info as you pose questions to candidates running in the election!
As local candidates compete for your vote, EndPovertyEdmonton encourages all Edmontonians to make poverty a campaign issue. Ask your candidates what their plan is to end poverty, not only in our city but in Canada.
Here are a few potential questions that you could ask candidates:
- How will your party help lift the 33,000 children and their families in Edmonton and the over 500,000 children in Canada out of poverty?
- We know that affordable housing is a critical issue. How will you and your party address this crisis?
- If elected, how will you incorporate the findings from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into your work in Ottawa?
Start this imperative conversation within your own networks. Join the national campaign; Vote to End Poverty (www.votetoendpoverty.ca) Continue the conversation on twitter @endpovertyyeg. And most importantly, be sure to cast your ballot on October 19th!