Poverty Reduction Updates and a Call to Action on Child Poverty

Greetings BC Poverty Reduction Open Letter Endorsers,

In this update:

  1. Public Health Association of BC – Community Forum – “Urban Poverty, Health, and a Sustainable Future – Is Time Running Out?”
  2. Ending Child Poverty in Canada by 2000 – Calls to Action in 2009 from Coalition member First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition
  3. Pivot Legal Society – Homelessness Is Over! (if you want it)
  4. BC Poverty Reduction Coalition – Our Open Letter

Public Health Association of BC – “Urban Poverty, Health, and a Sustainable Future – Is Time Running Out”

The Poverty Reduction Coalition is co-presenting a free community forum in Vancouver with the Public Health Association of BC.

What: “Urban Poverty, Health, and Sustainable Futures – Is Time Running Out?”
When: Monday, November 23rd, 7-9PM
Where: St. Andrews-Wesley Church, 1022 Nelson St., Vancouver
Admission: Free

The evening will include an opening address “Sustainable and Equitable: the Challenges for Cities in the 21st Century,” presented by Dr. Trevor Hancock. Dr. Hancock is one of the founders of the global healthy cities and communities movement and is a 2008 recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the International Society for Urban Health for his “outstanding contribution to improving the health of urban populations.”

We will also have brief performances by performing arts groups from the Strathcona Community Centre, and the Queer Imaging and Writing Kollective for Elders, Quirk-e.

The Panel includes:
Dr. Trevor Hancock, Health Futurist
Dr. Patty Daly, Chief Medical Health Officer for Vancouver Coastal Health
Dr. Evan Adams, Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor, Office of the Provincial Health Officer
Seth Klein, BC Director for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Judy Grave, Housing Advocate

Download the forum poster.

An End to Child Poverty in Canada by 2000: Calls to Action in 2009

You’ve been looking for things that you can do to build the call for poverty reduction? Here you go…

In 1989, the House of Commons unanimously resolved to end child and family poverty in Canada by the year 2000.  November 24 is the 20th anniversary of that commitment.  Twenty years later, 1 in 7 children and their families still live in poverty in Canada, and, appallingly, 1 in 5 children living in British Columbia are in poverty.  BC needs a plan to reduce poverty.

Our partners and endorsers are marking this anniversary with nation-wide calls for the eradication of child poverty and a renewed call to BC’s provincial government adopt a comprehensive poverty reduction plan. First Call offers some suggestions for ways that you can join the call. On November 24, 2009, First Call will release the BC Campaign 2000 Child Poverty Report Card.  BC has had the worst child poverty rate in Canada for 6 years in a row.

Join us for a day of action on November 24th to show public support for the eradication of child and family poverty, get media focused on the problem of family poverty, especially in these tough economic times, and bring attention to the actions needed from our government leaders to move toward a poverty-free Canada.

Suggestions for community action and advocacy on November 24:

  • Circulate this poster widely.
  • On November 24, copy and paste this message into your Facebook status:
    Today is the 20th anniversary of the all-party commitment to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000.  Did you know that BC has had the worst child poverty rate in Canada for six years? Find out more at
  • Contact First Call to receive business cards highlighting BC’s child poverty rate which you can distribute in your community – preview the cards here:
  • Contact your MLA and MP and let them know that the poverty rates in BC and Canada are unacceptable.  Ask them to press for national and provincial poverty reduction strategies.  Encourage your MP to attend the November 24th breakfast in Ottawa for a preview of the national Child Poverty Report Card.  Details are here:
  • Attend First Call’s Vancouver release of the BC Child Poverty Report Card.  The press conference will be held at 9:15 AM on November 24 at the Plaza 500 Hotel, 500 W. 12th Ave.
  • Send out a press release about the 20th anniversary of the commitment to ending child and family poverty by the year 2000.  Look for a sample press release on our website closer to Nov 24th.
  • Include information about the report card at any special events your agency is hosting, in your newsletter, and on your website.
  • Share personal stories illustrating the impacts of poverty on children and families in your community with your local media and with your elected representatives.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper on November 25th highlighting the report card.

The report card will be available at on the morning of November 24.  You may also wish to visit to view the national report card and those from other participating provinces.  A poverty reduction strategy for BC is available at

Pivot Legal Society – Homelessness is Over (if you want it)

The Pivot Legal Society has launched the campaign Homelessness is Over (if you want it), a grassroots campaing to bring people together across the country to make it happen. ??

Right now there is a great opportunity for a first step towards ending homelessness in Canada: a private member’s bill, C-304an Act to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing, is ready to go before Parliment for a final vote. Now is the time to take action.

Send an e-postcard to Diane Finley – the Minister responsible for housing – demanding the Conservative government show real leadership and create a national housing strategy now! Once you send your e-postcard, pass the link on to your friends, co-workers, and facebook/twitter communities. Ask them to lend their voice to the call to establish a national housing strategy. We also have hard copies of the postcard for your organization, work, school, or party. Get them signed and get them back to us soon because we are planning to hand deliver thousands of them to the Minister’s office in Ottawa.

Everyday the movement to end homelessness is growing and we are in it to win it! Join the movement and add your voice to the call – Homelessness is Over! (if you want it).??

The BC Poverty Reduction Coalition: Our Open Letter

The BC Poverty Reduction Coalition continues to grow.

We came together way back at the start of the 2009 provincial election campaign and our call was heard loud and clear by all parties in the race. We didn’t get the response we wanted by Election Day, but we are keeping up the momentum and continuing to push for a poverty reduction plan for BC with legislated targets and timelines.

We’ve renewed our call and updated the open letter you endorsed with us. The letter now lives on beyond the election period. It’s the same call you signed on to, only with an updated commitment to build our call until BC has the bold plan we all need for poverty reduction.

To see the changes we’ve made to the letter visit and then pass the link on to someone else you know. We now have 285 organizational endorsers and an on-line petition of individual signatories.

For more info: