A message from our partners at Canada Without Poverty with whom we collaborated (alongside the Canadian Poverty Institute, the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network, the MacKillop Centre for Social Justice and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) to prepare a 35 page written submission for the UN’s Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Yesterday Harriett McLachlan, CWP’s President gave a powerful address on the status of human rights and poverty in Canada to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Here’s a sample of what she had to say:
“Although I’m an educated professional, I lived most of my life in poverty. It is clear to me that Canada does not connect poverty, homelessness or food insecurity with human rights. Paragraph 3 in Canada’s response to the list of issues is clear, in the Government’s opinion, my right to an adequate standard of living, to adequate housing and food, is not protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They have closed the door on people living in poverty, denying us access to justice.”
Now the Federal Government is refusing to acknowledge that the Charter provides full protection for economic, social and cultural rights. This means that your basic rights like access to housing, food, water, and health care are not safeguarded in Canadian law. This is a dangerous position that leaves the basic needs of the most vulnerable unprotected.
CWP, along with several NGOs addressing the Committee, have put together this letter calling on the government to reverse its position and affirm that ESC rights are safeguarded under the Charter.
The only way the government will change their position is by hearing from people across Canada that YOU believe in economic, social and cultural rights!
Canada Without Poverty