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Greetings friends,

Before you cast your ballot for the May 2nd federal election, we encourage you to find out where the parties and your local MPs land on poverty reduction.

We’ve gathered up a few great tools to help you vote for poverty reduction in this federal election.

1. How do the party platforms measure up?

Citizens for Public Justice has combed through the party platforms and compiled a helpful summary of what each has to say on fighting poverty.
See their findings at <http://www.cpj.ca/en/election-2011-fighting-poverty-%E2%80%93-party-platforms>.

2. From the Missing Issues File: Poverty Reduction

A recent blog post by Seth Klein (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-BC Director) underscores the need for a federal plan for poverty reduction and questions why the political parties are failing to address an issue of such critical importance to their constituents nation-wide.

“The political momentum to tackle poverty is growing. Seven provinces and two territories?—?Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, P.E.I., Yukon and Nunavut?—have poverty reduction plans in place or in development. But while most provincial governments have taken the lead (my home province of BC being a notable exception), the job cannot be completed without the active partnership of the federal government.…There is nothing inevitable about poverty and homelessness in a country as wealthy as ours. It would be nice to hear our political leaders strongly making this point. If we commit to a bold plan, a dramatic reduction in poverty and homelessness within a few short years is a perfectly achievable goal.”

Read the post at <http://federalelectionblog.ca/2011/04/16/from-the-missing-issues-file-poverty-reduction/>.

3. Don’t forget to vote to make poverty history!

Make Poverty History offers up 8 ways you can make sure that poverty is a priority issue in this election.
For details visit <http://www.makepovertyhistory.ca/vote>.

4. A Chance to get some answers: All Candidates Forum on poverty in Surrey North

All Candidates Forum
Thursday, April 28th, 7-9pm
SFU Surrey campus, Lecture Room 5280

The BC Poverty Reduction Coalition and Canada Without Poverty are co-hosting an All Candidates Forum with a focus on poverty in Surrey North. As in communities all over British Columbia, poverty is an issue of increasing importance in Surrey. With increasing housing costs, rising food and fuel prices, and with over 15,000 Surrey residents using their local food bank every year, constituents are looking for leadership on poverty reduction.

Across the country federal candidates must be prepared to take a stand on poverty reduction and this is an opportunity to get some answers in Surrey North. Come with your questions. Come to have a voice in your community. Come to hear what your candidates platform is on poverty in your community. Please spread the word!

Poverty is a top priority for Canadian voters and we’re watching to see how all the parties decide to address the issue. You can make sure it’s on your candidates’ agenda by asking them where they stand on a national strategy to address poverty. Let them know its a priority for you.

Sincerely,

The BC Poverty Reduction Coalition