First, a huge thank you to all the organizations and individuals who signed the Open Letter to BC political parties, calling for a poverty reduction plan with targets and timelines.
Our efforts did indeed have an impact on the election – our call came up over and over again during the campaign, the parties and political leaders were required to respond, and we have demonstrated a clear and strong public desire to see action on poverty and homelessness. And the list of signatories of the Open Letter represent a remarkable and diverse coming together of civil society groups.
Notably, the week before our BC election, Ontario’s historic new Poverty Reduction Act passed third and final reading with all-party support. The Ontario government is now legislatively required to reduce child poverty by 25 per cent in 5 years. The legislation requires Ontario to set a new poverty reduction target and plan of action at least every five years, and to consult regularly on its progress with low income people, groups at heightened risk of poverty, and other key stakeholders. Poverty in Ontario can no longer be ignored. (If you want to know more about the new Ontario law, visit: http://25in5.ca/)
We’re pleased to inform you all that the BC Poverty Reduction Committee (the network of organizations that has led the BC campaign) has decided to continue its efforts. We will continue to collaborate and advance this call. We believe progress is still possible, and hope to see all-party support emerge for a bold BC plan.
We’ll continue to update you on our efforts, and invite your involvement, in the months ahead. (But if you no longer want to receive the occasional email update from this initiative, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be removed from the list.)
Once again, thank you, and let’s keep up this effort.
BC Poverty Reduction Committee