Before sunrise, the United Church minister Al Tysick (of the Dandelion Society) drives through downtown Victoria, BC, greeting the city’s street community. He welcomes them with hot coffee, breakfast, and necessities such as clean socks.
Doreen Kot and the people of Parkdale United Church support Acadia Place, a KAIROS Calgary initiative that rehouses and helps homeless families.
Those who respond to poverty on the front lines can observe that Canada’s systems of care are failing. One in seven Canadians (4.9 million total) currently struggle to pay rent, feed their families, and supply their basic needs.
Now is a key moment to augment the calls of our partners for faith and justice. Until June 2017, the federal government is consulting Canadians to shape a national Poverty Reduction Strategy. As people of faith, we care for those living in poverty and challenge our systems to support all of us in dignified ways.
Your input can help shape a new strategy for a Canada without poverty.
- Review the Dignity for All plan and use their form to write to Employment and Social Development Canada and share what you want to see in the Poverty Reduction Strategy. You can use the Dignity for All recommendations as a starting point.
- Let the federal government know what is important to you when it comes to ending poverty in Canada. Contribute to the Poverty Reduction Strategy consultations by
- Follow news of the consultation on social media and join the discussion on Twitter to #ReducePoverty!
- Attend a public roundtable related to the Poverty Reduction Strategy consultations in your area or host your own community discussion on the subject. A toolkit to help you plan a community discussion is available for download on the Employment and Social Development Canada site.
In Levitus, farmers are told, “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field... you shall leave them for the poor and for the alien” (23:22). However, leaving scraps is not enough. The United Church believes that as we lead lives of compassion and justice, “the poor must have priority… over the wants of the rich.” (Search “The Church and the Economic Crisis” on United Church Commons.)
For more background on this issue, refer to the following:
- Ending Poverty
- "Towards a Canada without Poverty," a post on the At the Heart of Justice blog
- Edge's Poverty in Canada webinar series:
- Part I: Four Voices—stories from people with lived experience of poverty
- Part II: A Focus on Charity and Justice—what anti-poverty work looks like from both a focus on charity and a focus on justice
- Part III: Poverty & Housing in Canada—folks from United Church ministries discuss ways we might prepare for and engage in the consultations
- Canada without Poverty, a United Church partner that believes poverty is a violation of human rights
- Citizens for Public Justice, a national organization of members inspired by faith to act for justice in Canadian public policy
- Campaign 2000, an initiative that has worked on ending child poverty since 1991
- Dignity for All’s additional campaigns and ideas for action
For more information, contact: