Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and in four days, polls will open for Canada’s 43rd federal election.
This year also marks 30 years since each federal party represented in the House of Commons committed to ending child poverty by the year 2000. There is no better time than the October 21 election to hold every party accountable to that commitment. Campaign 2000 sent an open letter to the leaders of every registered federal party asking to see their plans on eradicating child and family poverty in Canada.
Since the all-party resolution was passed 30 years ago, Campaign 2000 has been developing a suite of achievable policy recommendations to put Canada on the track to eradicating child and family poverty. These recommendations were outlined in our letter and each party was asked to respond directly to questions based on the recommendations. Nine responses were received, and of those, only one party, the Green Party, responded directly to the questions. The Liberal Party and NDP were the only other two parties who provided substantive responses related to poverty reduction.
Our report, Child Poverty by Federal Riding: the work ahead for Canada’s next Parliament, shows significant levels of child poverty in every federal riding across the country. Child poverty is an everyday issue, and with the looming federal election, we have the opportunity to make it an election issue as well. Ending poverty must be a priority for all members of the incoming government.