Campaign 2000 calls on all federal leaders to take a stand in support of all low income people in Canada who have faced economic hardship before and during the pandemic by supporting a broad repayment amnesty for those who received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) but were later deemed ineligible.
“The federal government’s roll out of individual emergency income supports in March must be applauded,” says Leila Sarangi, National Coordinator for Campaign 2000. “This move no doubt was a lifeline for thousands of people living on low income. Now it’s time for the Prime Minister and all federal party leaders to decisively support a CERB repayment amnesty for anyone living in low income who received the benefit but who were found to be ineligible after the fact.”
The concept of Basic Income is front and centre once again in policy and advocacy circles, and interest in BI is gaining across the country. While critics and proponents of Basic Income alike discuss program design and financing options, few have spoken about principles that should guide the design of a Basic Income. If anti-poverty advocates aren’t clear on these principles, we are unlikely to get the basic income we want.
Basic Income must move and keep families out of poverty, and it must be supported by a web of accompanying policies to end discrimination and income inequity. In 2016, when Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot was being designed, Campaign 2000 developed 6 guiding principles which provide an anti-poverty framework through which to assess any BI program. These foundational principles are:
Ongoing Targeted Supports
Strong Public Services
Ending Structural Inequities
Better Wages for Workers
In order for BI to successfully accelerate the reduction in poverty, and ensure dignity for all who are living in low income, these principles must be considered foundational architecture in the design of any BI program.
Note: These principles were originally published in a chapter which was part of a compendium released in October 2016 by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Ontario Office entitled, “Basic Income: Rethinking Social Policy.”, edited by Alex Himelfarb and Trish Hennessy. The full compendium can be found at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/basic-income.
On August 7, Campaign 2000 submitted its priorities for the 2021 federal budget, with a focus on a COVID recovery plan. The submission states that experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic have laid bare inequities, are amplifying inequality and bringing to light the inadequacies of our social and economic infrastructure to support families in crisis. The road to recovery must not lead us back to what we knew as ‘normal’. That status quo left far too many behind. We must use this opportunity to reimagine a just, equitable, inclusive society, which is both good for the economy and is the right thing to do. Eradicating poverty is undoubtedly essential to promoting Canada’s economic growth (Conference Board of Canada) while promoting population health, enhancing social cohesion and enabling fuller social and economic participation of all. To achieve this, we must invest in policies that equalize outcomes for families and children, including income benefits, Reconciliation, ELCC and housing for all.
Family Service Toronto and Campaign 2000 nation-wide release a joint statement denouncing all forms of anti-Black racism, colonialism and white supremacy. As organizations working directly in the areas of mental health and poverty eradication, we know that Black and Indigenous communities have much worse health outcomes and exponentially higher rates of poverty than white Canadians and that this is a both a result of and a strategy to maintain systemic oppression. We have a responsibility to ensure that our work in these areas contributes to ending anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, which cannot be done without critical self-reflection, education and dialogue.
Today Campaign 2000 partners in Manitoba release their annual report card on the state of child and family poverty, Broken Promise Stolen Futures: Child and Family Poverty in Manitoba, where 1 out of every 6 children living in a two-parent family live in poverty, and 1 out of every 1.6 children living in a single parent family lives in poverty. This report finds that even with the federal Canada Child Benefit and using both the federal and provincial governments’ preferred and more forgiving poverty measure, the Market Basket Measure, Manitoba ranks 4th in both overall as well as child poverty in 2016. In 2018, there was an increase of 7% in overall poverty and 19% increase in child poverty. The report demonstrates that at this rate it will take 697.5 years to end child poverty in Manitoba.
2000 and the Child Welfare League of Canada have released a joint response to the federal
government’s emergency aid package announced March 18.
release details their call for more robust investments into income security
measures and additional strategies to ensure vulnerable and marginalized
children and caregivers have immediate access to benefits.
Today, Honourable Minister Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development, attended the C2000 National Strategy Conference to share some words about his work on housing, the Canada Child Benefit, intergovernmental collaboration, and other poverty reduction initiatives.
Minister Hussen fielded questions on a range of issues including the Multilateral Early Learning and Childcare Framework, the high rate of poverty in FN, Inuit and Métis communities and decisions around measurement, and the inaccessibility of the CCB which contributes to poverty among refugee families and children.
The Minister spoke to these questions as well as a need for policy and investment in off-reserve housing for Indigenous people, and the potential for basic income pilots across the country.
Campaign 2000 supporters made it clear that high quality, affordable, accessible childcare, and the reduction of high poverty rates among racialized and Indigenous children, must be prioritized across policy areas within the Minister’s portfolio.
Campaign 2000 looks forward to continuing to work with the Minister and the federal government on implementing the recommendations in the National Report Card released in January, and achieving forward movement on the goal of eliminating child and family poverty.
Campaign 2000, co-ordinated by Family Service Toronto, is a non-partisan coalition of 120 groups and individuals committed to ending child poverty.
On the eve of a new parliament being sworn in, Campaign 2000 and its partners from coast to coast to coast are urging the new and returning cohort of federally-elected politicians to seize the opportunity and make history by recommitting to the elimination of child and family poverty in Canada.
November 24, 2019 marks 30 years since the signing of the all-party resolution in the House of Commons to end child and family poverty. From 1989 to 2019, three decades have gone by and based on the latest statistics, over 1 million children still live in poverty. Child poverty exists in every riding across the country, with some of the deepest pockets of child poverty occurring in the North, and among Indigenous and racialized children.
On Monday November 25 at noon, join our partners in Winnipeg on the front steps of the Manitoba Legislative Building, where those under 30 will share their experiences and what the legacy of 30 years of child poverty means to them.
Campaign 2000 and several of its provincial partners will release their annual report cards in early 2020, which will include updated statistics, analysis, and recommendations. Stay tuned as we enter the 31 st year of our Campaign. We hope this is the last milestone anniversary we will have to mark. Children and families across the country deserve to live free of stress, ill-health, precarious housing, and poor access to food, and collectively we will continue to make these goals a reality. We cannot afford to wait another 30 years.
In the lead up to the federal election, Campaign 2000 has mapped the prevalence of child poverty by federal riding from coast to coast to coast. The interactive map, produced in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and this corresponding report is the second update to the initial 2015 report. Using the most recent data available, this interactive map shows the rate of child poverty by federal electoral district along with socio-economic indicators, allowing users to get a snapshot of state of child poverty by federal riding. Readers can also view demographic characteristics that are associated with high poverty rates in each riding.
shows that while there is an important trend downwards in the rate of child
poverty across the country since 2015, a significant number of children remain
in poverty in every federal riding across Canada. The latest data
continue to paint a stark portrait of inequality with high- and low-income
families living in close proximity while divided by wide social and economic
gaps that leave too many children hungry, sick and stressed beyond what is
expected or acceptable for children.
Federal ridings with the highest levels of child and family poverty are home to a higher proportion of Indigenous, racialized and immigrant community members and lone parent led families. This correlation signals the persistence of discrimination and systemic inequalities that drive higher unemployment, lower labour market participation rates and higher proportions of renters and people spending more than 30% of their income on housing.
presence of child and family poverty in every riding in Canada demands for it
to be a priority issue for every party this election, with a commitment to
strong and decisive federal action. Clearly, every community, every
candidate and all political parties have a stake in the eradication of poverty.