Poverty reduction poll results and poverty reduction-related events

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Greetings open letter signatories,

A few important updates for all the organizations and individuals who signed the Open Letter to BC political parties, calling for a poverty reduction plan with targets and timelines:

The Poverty Reduction Coalition is continuing its efforts to see BC adopt a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy and as we continue to build our call, we hope we can count on your continued endorsement. To keep you posted on our work and to let you know what you can do to support the campaign we will continue to send out updates and notices of poverty reduction events, as we did before the election, though with less frequency.

Below you will find our latest news release, the announcement of an exciting new national poverty reduction initiative, and a notice of the upcoming 3rd Annual Women’s Housing March in Vancouver.

June 9, 2009: Poverty Reduction Coalition News Release
Message to the new BC cabinet: British Columbians want a poverty reduction plan.

(Vancouver) A poll commissioned by the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition and conducted just before the May provincial election by the Mustel Group found that 79% of British Columbians believe a poverty reduction plan with legislated targets and timelines should be a priority for the new provincial government (46% said such a plan is a high priority, and 33% said it was a medium priority).

A growing number of provinces across the country are implementing poverty reduction plans, but so far not BC. A week before BC’s election, a new Poverty Reduction Act with concrete targets was passed by Ontario’s legislature with unanimous all-party support. And Manitoba is the latest province to initiate a plan. It is clear from the BC poll results that British Columbians expect their government to take leadership on this issue.

The BC Poverty Reduction Coalition has called for a comprehensive provincial plan in an open letter to all political parties. Leading up to the May 12th election, the coalition’s call won the endorsement of almost 300 organizations from around the province (see for the Open Letter and full list of signatories).

The Coalition is calling on Premier Campbell to introduce a plan, and to designate a lead minister for poverty reduction with a cross-government mandate and secretariat, a common element of all provincial plans.

By any measure, BC has the highest poverty rates in the country. With the majority of British Columbians supporting bold action to reduce poverty, the Coalition wants the government to consider a poverty reduction plan as central in its evolving response to the current economic downturn; fighting poverty makes solid sense as a focal point for an effective economic stimulus package.

Dignity for All: The Campaign for a Poverty-Free Canada
On May 22nd, at the Social Forum in Calgary, Citizens for Public Justice and Canada Without Poverty officially launched Dignity for All: The Campaign for a Poverty-Free Canada.

The campaign is calling for: (1) a federal plan for poverty elimination that complements provincial and territorial plans; (2) a federal anti-poverty Act that ensures enduring federal commitment and accountability for results; and (3) sufficient federal investment in social security for all Canadians.

Dignity for All seeks to mobilize Canadians across the country to send the message to Ottawa that federal action is needed to address poverty in Canada. For more information and to join the campaign visit

3rd Annual Women’s Housing March, Vancouver
Saturday, June 13, 1:30 pm
Starts outside Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
(302 Columbia- corner Cordova, just west of Main)

Join women from the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre’s Power of Women Group in the 3rd Annual March for Women’s Housing and March Against Poverty! Everyone welcome!

Marching for:

  • Social Housing, Childcare, and Healthcare for all!
  • No more Evictions and No more Condos in the DTES!
  • People Before Olympic Profits!
  • Stop Criminalizing the Poor!

For more information contact or call 604-681-8480 x234

BC Poverty Reduction Coalition