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Unprecedented Progress on Poverty Reduction Being Undone

Campaign 2000 releases its annual report on child and family poverty, Unprecedented Progress on Poverty Reduction Being Undone. The report finds that in 2021, despite the historic progress achieved in 2020, Canada saw a sharp upswing in national child poverty rates. As pandemic benefits wound down and the cost of living rose, poverty rates rebounded, resulting in over 1 million children living in poverty.

Using tax filer data from 2021, the latest available, this update finds that the child poverty rate rose to 15.6%, up from 13.5% in 2020 (using the Census Family Low Income Measure, After Tax). That represents 163,550 more children living with the short – and long-term physical, mental, emotional, economic and social harms of poverty.

This year’s national report finds that rates of child poverty increased in every province and territory from 2020 to 2021. Disproportionately higher rates were seen for people marginalized by colonization, racism and systemic discrimination, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and racialized and migrant children.

The progress achieved in 2020 revealed that there is room for more ambitious targets for poverty reduction in Canada. Campaign 2000 was founded after the unanimous 1989 federal motion to eradicate child poverty by the year 2000. The federal government’s 2015 commitment to the United Nations 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals, the first of which is No Poverty, signaled an important re-prioritization of poverty eradication. But the latest data presented in this year’s report show troubling signs that progress towards ending child and family poverty is reversing.

Accelerated efforts are required for Canada to meet its human rights obligations to end poverty. This report offers more than 30 recommendations that cover inequality, income security, housing, child care, decent work and healthcare, and calls for bold action to eradicate child and family poverty in Canada.

Key Findings from the 2023 National Report Update:

  • Over 1 million children lived in poverty (1,162,460 or 15.6%) in 2021.
  • The national child poverty rate increased by 2.1 percentage points between 2020-2021, following a historic reduction of 4.2 percentage points between 2019-2020. This increase represents an additional 163,550 children living in poverty.
  • The child poverty rate is higher (16.1%) for children under six than all children.  
  • Rates of child poverty increased in every province and territory, with highest increases in Saskatchewan amongst the provinces (child poverty rate of 24.2%) and Nunavut amongst the territories (child poverty rate of 35.8%).
  • The gap between wealthy and low-income families widened, as families in the bottom decile of income distribution had only 1.6% of the total share of income compared to families in the top decile, who had 25.4%.
  • Government transfers, such as the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), are powerful poverty reduction tools.  The CCB reduced child poverty by 9.2 percentage points in 2021.
  • Child and family poverty disproportionately affects marginalized communities due to the historic and current violence of colonialism, racism and systemic discrimination.
  • Canada’s universal child care plan must include low-income children with a sliding scale fee model of $0 to $10 maximum.  All child care expansion must be within the public and non-profit sectors.

Want to read more? 

Click on the following links to read and download the 2023 report cards.

English National Update and Press Release

French National Update and Press Release

Check out the provincial and territorial report cards as they become available:

British Columbia Report Card
BC Child Poverty Report Card 2023 – First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society (firstcallbc.org)
2023 CPRC Media Materials – First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society (firstcallbc.org)
2023 BC Child Poverty Maps – First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society (firstcallbc.org)

Alberta Report Card and Press Release

Manitoba Report Card and Press Release

English Ontario Report Card and Press Release

French Ontario Report Card and Press Release

New Brunswick Report Card English and French; Press Release English and French

Nova Scotia Report Card and Press Release

Prince Edward Island Report Card

Newfoundland and Labrador Report Card and Press Release

Nunavut Report Card (COMING SOON)


Campaign 2000 update: Yukon Poverty Report Card 2022

The Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition released the first Yukon Poverty Report Card in March 2021 as part of Campaign 2000’s annual assessment of child and family poverty in Canada. The report provided an overview of current data regarding the prevalence of poverty in the Yukon as well as relevant indicators related to the housing crisis, food insecurity, and affordability. The report concluded with ten recommendations to reduce poverty and to improve the health and wellness of children, youth, and families throughout the territory.


Yukon Poverty Report Card 2022 provides a status update on the key issues identified in the first report including each of the recommendations and assigns a grade to each level of government responsible for implementing each recommendation. It also includes new recommendations to address ongoing and emerging issues relating to social assistance, the housing crisis, and transportation.

Read the report.

Register now to the roundtable series on Poverty and Human Rights

Join Campaign 2000, Citizens for Public Justice and Canada Without Poverty for a three-part virtual roundtable series on poverty and human rights.

In 2015, Canada committed to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  These goals are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a global call to action to achieve social, economic and environmental prosperity.  Enshrined in the 2030 Agenda is a commitment “to realize human rights for all,” including economic, social and cultural rights.

The Localizing Canada’s Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals Project (SDGs Project) is developing a community-driven indicator framework for the federal government to use to measure progress towards achieving several of the SDGs, including Goal #1: No Poverty.  The SDGs Project uses principled, community-based and participatory research approaches to engage people who experience systemic marginalization and poverty, community service organizations, advocates and organizers from coast to coast to coast that will inform the measurement framework for realizing rights and ending poverty in local contexts. 

The virtual roundtable format will include presentations, guest speakers and breakout discussions and will feature those who have been engaged through the SDG’s Project.  Participants will have an opportunity to connect with organizations and individuals dedicated to ending poverty from across the country for movement-building.

Register for all three or attend when you can! 

Roundtable 1: 
June 14, 2023 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST
Connecting lived expertise to public policy: meaningful engagement as a means to advancing human rights

Roundtable 2: 
June 15, 2023 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST
Holding government to account: legal and policy levers for ending poverty

Roundtable 3: 
June 16, 2023 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST
Poverty-free communities are possible: strengthening the national anti-poverty movement

Learn more or register for the roundtables on Eventbrite.

To request accommodations, please contact Mithilen Mathipalan at [email protected] by June 7, 2023. The event will be live captioned and ASL and French interpretation will be available.

Pandemic lessons: Ending child and family poverty is possible

Campaign 2000 releases its annual report card on child and family poverty, Pandemic Lessons: Ending Child and Family Poverty is Possible. The report shows that during a global pandemic, rates of child poverty in Canada were reduced by a record 40%.  Using tax filer data from 2020, the latest available, this report card finds that child poverty fell to 13.5%, down from 17.7% the previous year.  That is the largest year over year drop since the federal government promised to end child poverty in 1989, and is largely a result of temporary pandemic benefits.  These benefits have all been retracted and this progress is unlikely to be sustained in the future. The federal government must take action to maintain and build on these gains in poverty reduction.  

This year’s national report card focuses on changes to income security measures, the need for decent work for all and the role of childcare in supporting low-income families.  It draws on data from focus groups and community conversations across the country to share the experiences of the real people who often get lost behind the numbers and emphasizes the need for trauma-informed and rights-based policy solutions to address the inequities of child and family poverty in this country.   

This report offers more than 50 recommendations on poverty reduction measures that cover inequality, income security, decent work, childcare, housing and public health. The pandemic, government response and significant reduction in poverty rates demonstrated that child poverty is a policy choice, not an economic inevitability.  These recommendations offer the opportunity to build on the progress of 2020 and make the choices necessary to end child and family poverty.    

Key Findings from the 2022 National Report Card: 

  • Nearly one million, or more than 1 in 8 children, are growing up with the short- and long-term physical, mental, emotional, economic and social harms of poverty.   
  • Child poverty declined in every region across Canada.   
  • Government transfers can end poverty.  Without temporary pandemic benefits, 1.5 million children would have been living in poverty or nearly 21% 
  • Child and family poverty disproportionately affects marginalized communities: For racialized children, it was 15.1%. For children in lone-parent families led by women, it was 29.7%. For First Nations children living on reserve, it was 37.4%. 

Want to read more? 

Click on the following links to read and download the 2022 report cards.  

English National Report Card, Infographic and Press Release 

French National Report Card and Press Release 

Check out the provincial and territorial report cards as they become available: 

British Columbia Report Card and Press Release

Alberta Report Card  and Press Release

Manitoba Report Card and Press Release

Nova Scotia Report Card and Press Release

Ontario Report Card, Interactive Maps of Child Poverty in Ontario, Press Release in English and French  

New Brunswick Report Card and Press Release 

Prince Edward Island Report Card and Press Release

Newfoundland and Labrador Summary of Report Card and Press Release

Yukon Poverty Report Card

Sign today CERB Amnesty Petition

We are asking for your support to sign and share the House of Commons E-Petition calling for an immediate stop of clawbacks to the Canada Child Benefit (CCB). 

The petition closes on January 19, 2023, at 9:14 a.m. (EDT).

Although pandemic income supports have all ended, families continue to have their CCB payments confiscated along with other tax credits. 

The CCB is Canada’s signature poverty reduction program, but a recent Parliamentary Budget Office report shows that approximately 791,000 families will have their payments reduced by an average $606 in the 2022/2023 benefit year as a result of having received pandemic benefits such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). The report found that federal spending on the CCB will be $1.45 billion less because of these clawbacks over three years.

Those who are the hardest hit are mothers with multiple children who earn a moderate income, precisely the mothers who need it most.  For example, a mother with 4 children who earned $33,000 last year, will have her income benefits reduced by more than $3,000 this year.

Join the call to end pandemic clawbacks to the CCB and to implement a full CERB Amnesty!

Sign the CERB Amnesty House of Commons petition by heading to: tinyurl.com/ccbclawbacks.

Press Release and News Coverage

Mothers with multiple children most affected by punitive CERB clawbacks
Received pandemic benefits? You might be losing some of this year’s Canada Child Benefit
Not moms who tucked money away in a Swiss bank account’: advocates warn of clawbacks to Canada Child Benefit for those who received pandemic supports
Advocates press Ottawa to retract child benefit cutbacks
Mothers receiving Canada Child Benefit payments deserve CERB Amnesty

Campaign 2000 submits federal pre-Budget 2023 recommendations

Campaign 2000 has submitted a set of budget recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in advance of the release of Budget 2023.  We call for significant investments into equity, income security, decent work, childcare, housing, pharmacare and more to get us on track for an inclusive recovery and to end poverty.  Download or read the submission below.

Budget 2023 Submission, House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance

October 2022

Immediate priorities for income security

The federal government must create a plan to end poverty in Canada.  More ambitious interim targets are needed.  The government must commit to reducing overall poverty and poverty in marginalized communities by 50% by 2026, and support these targets with robust investments into the following income security measures:

  1. Create a Canada Child Benefit End of Poverty Supplement (CCB-EndPov) targeted to families in deep poverty ($6.4 billion).
  2. Broaden access to the CCB for families with precarious status by repealing legislation tying eligibility to immigration status ($160 million). Expand the circle of people able to attest to a child’s residency, ensuring that kinship, customary care and families caring for children outside a formal arrangement have access to the CCB.
  3. Reverse CCB reductions due to receiving CERB for moderate income mothers ($1.45 billion).  Implement CERB Repayment Amnesty for everyone living below or near the low income measure.  Immediately cease treating CERB and recovery benefits as taxable income.  
  4. Create a parallel cash transfer system for marginalized non-taxfilers outside of the personal income tax system ($100 million).
  5. Address gaps in the income security system by implementing a Canadian Livable Income for working age individuals ($3.9 billion), lowering GIS eligibility for seniors and immediately implementing the Canadian Disability Benefit.
  6. Support social assistance adequacy through the Canada Social Transfer; tie investments to adequacy standards ($2 billion).

Additional recommendations to end child and family poverty

  1. Ensure all who are unemployed or underemployed have access to income security measures
    within a revamped Employment Insurance (EI) program that increases access, amount and
    duration of benefits.
  2. Provide equitable funding for child welfare services on First Nations Reserves and ensure the full
    application of both Jordan’s Principle and the Spirit Bear Plan.
  3. Fund full implementation of the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation
    Commission and the 231 Calls to Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered
    Indigenous Women and Girls.
  4. Invest $10 billion over three years to support expansion of public and non-profit childcare
    facilities
  5. Ensure that federally financed housing is affordable for low-income families and reflects the
    diverse needs of families with children. Adopt and robustly fund an Urban, Rural and Northern
    Indigenous Housing Strategy that articulates clear goals and timelines for the elimination of
    homelessness and core housing need.
  6. Address growing income inequality and generate revenue for poverty reduction programing by
    eliminating tax loopholes, closing tax havens, taxing extreme wealth, making the personal
    income tax system more progressive and implementing an excess profit tax focused on
    corporate pandemic windfalls

Child and Family Poverty In Canada

Low income families are in crisis.  Record inflation is affecting every area of life, and more than 1.4 million children in the provinces are living in food insecure households.  Poverty is disproportionately experienced by groups who face systemic marginalization and discrimination including First Nations, Inuit, Métis, racialized, im/migrant, newcomer, children and families with disabilities, in lone mother led families, 2SLSGBTQI+ families, among others.

The poverty rate overall and the poverty rate for children and families declined significantly in 2020 resulting from government transfers to families and individuals at the onset of the pandemic.  However, with the expiration of all pandemic benefits, and government seeking repayment from those who have been deemed ineligible, we anticipate a reversal of these rates in subsequent years.

There are two targets in the Canada Poverty Reduction Strategy (CPRS): to reduce poverty by 20% by the year 2020 and by 50% by the year 2030 (from the base year 2015).  Both targets were achieved well ahead of schedule – the 20% reduction realized in 2018 and the 50% reduction realized in 2020.  This demonstrates there is much more room for ambition as well as how effective government transfers can be at eliminating poverty. 

The CPRS must be strengthened with the goal of sustained reduction in overall poverty and poverty within marginalized communities by 50% between 2015 – 2026 based on the CFLIM-AT using taxfiler data. 

The Poverty Reduction Act must recognize the right to an adequate standard of living and contain mechanisms to realize this right such as a well-resourced all-party appointed advisory council and a poverty reduction advocate who can investigate major systemic issues.

#1 and #2. Canada Child Benefit (CCB)

Research by Campaign 2000 shows that the CCB is not able to sustain a continued reduction in child poverty without significant additional investment.  Budget 2023 must increase investment and target funds to families who have been left in deep poverty.  We recommend the non-taxable End of Poverty Supplement, which would provide an additional $8,500 per year to a family with an earned income of less than $19,000 for the first child.  Additional amounts would be provided for multiple children and the supplement would reduce at a rate of $0.50 for every additional dollar of income.  This supplement would have a dramatic effect on the rates of child poverty, reducing it from 8% in 2023 to 3.6% according to the Market Basket Measure.  Single parent families, who are mostly female led and who have extremely high rates of poverty, would see their child poverty rate reduce from 24.3% to 8.4%.

Ensure government transfers are accessible.  Repeal s.122.6(e) of the Income Tax Act that ties eligibility of the CCB to immigration status. Enable different government agencies to share information required for caregivers to access benefits, such as birth certificates.  Expand the circle of people able to attest to residency and ensure that kinship, customary care, and families caring for children outside a formal care arrangement have access to the CCB.

#3. CERB Repayment Amnesty

According to a recent report by the Parliamentary Budget Office, child benefit payments were reduced on average by $606 in 2021/22 because of pandemic benefits being counted into income calculations.  Over three years, these clawbacks will mean that the federal government will spend $1.45 billion less in child benefit payments.

Although the CERB expired in September 2020, families are still experiencing clawbacks to their Canada Child Benefit.   Working mothers with moderate incomes who have multiple children have experienced the largest reductions to their CCB entitlements.  For example, a mother with four children who had an earned income of $33,000 and received the maximum amount of CERB in 2020 would have her CCB reduced by 23%, or $2,760 in 2022/23.  

Clawbacks are not limited to the CCB only; they are being experienced by all refundable tax credits with the exception of the Guaranteed Income Supplement, which is protected from reductions as a result of legislative changes.

Compounding clawbacks, the federal government is continuing to seek repayments from people who have been deemed ineligible or who have received an overpayment of CERB.  Repayment plans of any amount will put additional unnecessary pressure on families to meet their basic needs. 

The federal government must immediately reverse the CCB reductions for moderate income mothers as a result of receiving CERB and reverse reductions to all refundable tax credits, as well as implement a CERB repayment amnesty for everyone who received CERB and/or the CRB and who are living below or near the after-tax Low Income Measure. 

#4. Create a parallel cash transfers system for non-taxfilers

A 2022 federal audit has found that the government struggles to get support to ‘hard-to-reach’ populations. Efforts to broaden the personal tax system are important poverty reduction initiatives and should continue. Regardless of how accessible the tax system becomes, it will not be universal.  Those who are most likely to be ‘hard-to-reach’ include people with no fixed address, without citizenship status, who work in informal economies, those who have mental health and/or addictions issues, and others who experience multiple locations of marginalization. 

We strongly recommend that the federal government invest to research and develop a parallel community-based benefit eligibility and delivery system for low-income, marginalized non-taxfilers.  The federal government must look to other jurisdictions for best practices on financial inclusion immediately, such as delivery by prepaid reloadable credit card systems implemented in partnership with trusted charities, and in the medium term, such as mobile or digital transfers as poverty elimination efforts.

#5 and #6.  Income Security

We support the recommendations in the 2023 Alternative Federal Budget, which closes gaps in the income security system.  Measures include: lowering the age of eligibility for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for seniors from age 65 to age 60, as the poverty rate for this age group is unacceptably high;  introducing a new non-taxable benefit for working age adults (replacing the Canada Worker’s Benefit) providing up to $5,000 for unattached individuals and up to $7,000 for couples with a net income of $19,000 or less; and the new Canada Disability Benefit (CDB) providing $11,040 annually per person targeted to low income individuals. 

Further invest $2 billion into the Canada Social Transfer to support social assistance adequacy, recognizing regional economic variations and meet human rights obligations to provide adequate income support.  Bind funding through the CST to minimum standards and make conditional that income supplements including the CCB, Child Support Payments, Child Disability Benefit, child related Employment Insurance benefits and pandemic emergency benefits are not deducted from social assistance. 

#7. Invest in Workers

Reform EI with measures to ensure marginalized workers have access with expanded access for premium payers currently excluded; extended access to new enrollees; permanent reduction of qualifying hours; boost the benefit rate (min. $500 as set by EI temporary reforms); and eliminate the discriminatory 33% benefit rate for extended parental benefits.

#8 and #9. Eradicate Poverty Among First Nations, Inuit and Métis Families

Budget 2022 must provide equitable funding for child welfare services on reserve and fully implement Jordan’s Principle and the Spirit Bear Plan. It must also provide full funding for the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action and adopt and the MMIWG Inquiry’s Calls to Justice.

#10. Child Care for All

Enshrine the right to childcare for all children and families in federal legislation.  Ensure that Indigenous rights and jurisdiction are respected and realized by fulfilling the distinctions-based obligations detailed in the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework.

Significantly boost investment into the federal capital expansion program to $10 billion over three years to support public and community planned expansion of public and non-profit facilities required to meet demand.

Ensure that maximum affordable parent fees of $10/day are established for all parents by 2026, with lower or no-fees for lower income parents.

#11. Invest in Housing

Commit to ending all forms of homelessness, not only ‘chronic homelessness’, to capture diverse experiences of children and families including women and gender diverse people experiencing violence, immigrants and refugees and First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.  Accelerate the co-development of Indigenous housing strategies and prioritize the availability of safe and adequate housing for Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse peoples as recommended in the Calls to Justice. Ensure that federally financed housing is affordable and accessible for low income families with children.

#12. Addressing Income and Wealth Inequality

Economic inequality has been on the rise for decades, and while the pandemic has disproportionately negatively impacted already marginalized communities, wealthy individuals and corporations have been benefitting.  Progressive tax measures are powerful tools the government has available to reduce economic inequalities and raise much needed revenues for pandemic recovery and poverty reduction initiatives.  These include: a modestly graduated wealth tax; an inheritance tax; eliminating or reducing highly regressive tax measures; and closing tax havens.

We also strongly recommend immediate implementation of an excess profit tax or corporate tax focused on pandemic windfall gains and increasing the corporate tax rate that applies to ‘normal’ profits.

Leila Sarangi
National Director, Campaign 2000
c/o Family Service Toronto
355 Church Street, Toronto ON M5B 0B2
647.393.1097

[email protected] 
www.campaign2000.ca & www.familyservicetoronto.org

Campaign 2000: End Child and Family Poverty is a diverse pan-Canadian coalition of over 120 organizations working to end child and family poverty.  We are generously hosted by Family Service Toronto, a large multi-service organization serving the Toronto area.

Share your CERB/CRB Story

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Share Your CERB and/or CRB Story with Campaign 2000

Since Summer 2020, Campaign 2000 has been working with partners from across the country to advocate for a Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) repayment amnesty for people living on low incomes who received Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) but were later found to be ineligible, or lost other benefits as a result of receiving the CERB/CRB.

What is CERB Amnesty?

The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was the first pandemic income support program made available as a result of COVID-19, which was later replaced with the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). Confusion around eligibility resulted in recipients being deemed ineligible months after receiving the benefit. The failure to make policy adjustments also resulted in other benefits being reduced.  

CERB Amnesty refers to all clawed back funds being returned to recipients whose incomes are below or near the low-income measure, immediate cessation of all current and future claw backs, and halting the pursuit of low income tax filers found ineligible for pandemic benefits. Time is running out, as we expect requests for repayments to begin in July 2022. 

How can community service providers get involved? 

We have met with individuals, advocates, politicians, policymakers, and journalists from across the country about this issue, and one thing is clear: they need to hear the stories of those impacted.

Do you know someone who was: 

  1. received a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency stating they might have been ineligible for the CERB/CRB and requesting more information? OR
  2. lost or received deductions of other benefits such as social and disability assistance, rent supplements, Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), child benefits, worker benefits and Goods and Services Tax (GST) credits as a result of receiving the CERB/CRB? 

If you answered yes, let them know how they can share their story with us: 

  • Attend a virtual focus group. The 1-hour focus group is being held on Thursday, April 7 at 12:30 PM EST via Zoom. Participants will receive a $50 e-gift card for their participation. You can register for the focus group here: https://tinyurl.com/cerbfocusgroup
  • Fill out our online survey. Participants can share their stories with us anonymously or choose to use their names or initials. The survey can be accessed here: https://tinyurl.com/cerbsurvey
  • Fill out a hard copy survey. E-mail us at [email protected] to receive a hard copy of this survey that you can print and fill out together with the individual. Completed forms can be sent to us as scans/photos via email or mailed to us at the following address: 

Family Service Toronto, ATTN: Campaign 2000, 128a Sterling Rd Toronto, ON M6R 2B7, Canada

For questions, e-mail us at [email protected]

Hiring: Social Action Coordinator

Social Action Coordinator, Campaign 2000

We are looking for a Social Action Coordinator to support and provide leadership on all aspects of of Ontario Campaign 2000.

POSITION DETAILS  

Position: Coordinator 

Program: Social Action 

Contract: Permanent, full-time; 35 hours per week 

Location: 128A Sterling Rd or from a safe home-based office as required 

Salary: $55,574- $68,450 Grade 8 BU 

Application Deadline: April 13, 2022; midnight 

File Number: SA #17-22 with cover letter and resume 

E-Mail: [email protected] 

Mail: HR, 355 Church Street, Toronto ON M5B 0B2 

Web: familyservicetoronto.org; campaign2000.ca; ontariocampaign2000.ca 

Grow With Us!

Family Service Toronto (FST) helps people face a wide variety of life challenges. For over 100 years, we have worked with individuals, families and communities destabilized by precarious mental health and/or socioeconomic circumstances to achieve greater resilience, stability and equity. We achieve this through our understanding of poverty and the harmful effects of marginalization, discrimination and oppression. We direct our energies to support individuals and families in our core service areas – community counselling and mental health, gender-based violence and developmental disabilities. At the same time, we work to influence policy, build knowledge, strengthen communities and advocate for system change. 

We’re proud of our people and culture! We are constantly evolving what we do and how we do it. Our work is grounded in the lived experience of the clients and the community. We celebrate diversity, equity, inclusion and excellence. We are agile, learning and always willing to try new things. 

FST hosts the Ontario and National Campaign 2000: End Child and Family Poverty in Canada, which are broad coalitions of community organizations committed to community engagement, public education, research and policy change to eradicate poverty in Canada. 

FST’s Social Action (SA) department focuses on driving system-level change for more just and supportive communities at the local, provincial and national levels. Our community building, research, public education and advocacy work is focused on influencing the systems and institutions that shape the lives of all community members and we’re looking for a Coordinator, Social Action to provide leadership in these key areas with a focus on Ontario policy. 

The Opportunity! 

The ideal candidate is someone who enjoys collaborating with diverse stakeholders to advance social justice issues. You have excellent communication, partnership development and interpersonal skills. You are someone with a strong sense of justice and a commitment to equity and inclusion, which you may have developed through your own personal lived experiences. Reporting to the Director, Social Action, this role coordinates FST’s provincial projects, supports municipal activities related to ending poverty and inequity. This role is also integral to advancing a culture of social action and civic engagement across FST program areas. 

Responsibilities

  • Provides leadership on all aspects of Ontario Campaign 2000: End Child and Family Poverty, including developing, implementing and evaluating the campaign’s provincial engagement strategy through intersectional analysis and community development ethos.
  • Supports campaigns and initiatives at the national and municipal levels related to poverty and intersecting social and economic issues.
  • Develops and maintains strong community partnerships, fosters collaboration and engagement in all activities. 
  • Coordinates the provincial and Toronto report cards on child and family poverty and assists with the national report card. 
  • Coordinates research, policy analysis, and writing reports on identified Social Action and issues, including child and family poverty in Ontario, Toronto and/or Canada. 
  • Coordinates database maintenance and provide advice on how to use databases effectively for engagement and organizing goals. 
  • Develops a communication and a government relations strategy for Social Action projects. 
  • Develops, coordinates and provides leadership to partners on campaigns and timely actions related to identified social issues.
  • Develops and delivers professional presentations to organizations, groups and individuals interested in learning more about child and family and other social issues on the Social Action agenda. 
  • Organizes and coordinates community forums, meetings and events and distributes educational materials to promote public education about child and family poverty and other identified social and economic issues, including but not limited to poverty, immigration and settlement, income security and employment, health and housing.

Qualifications

  • Post-Graduate Degree in Public Policy, Social Work, Adult Education, Political Science, Women’s / Gender Studies or a related field or equivalent combination of education and experience. Foreign credentials and relevant experience will be considered.
  • Minimum 3 years relevant experience conducting research, coordinating coalitions and campaigns, and developing communications and advocacy strategies. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including writing high quality reports, dynamic presentation skills and designing workshops for a wide range of audiences. 
  • Demonstrated understanding of the impact of socio/economic issues, including child and family poverty, immigration and settlement, income security and employment, health and housing and experience developing strategies to address these issues. 
  • Ability to work in intersecting frameworks relevant to the project: strengths-based, feminist, anti-colonial, anti-racist, anti-oppression, etc. 
  • Knowledge of provincial and municipal government social and economic policy, jurisdiction and government relations. 
  • Demonstrated experience of media relations and social media communication strategies, including writing content for media releases and developing advocacy toolkits.
  • Demonstrated experience synthesizing policy ideas and research into public education materials, with the use of Canva, Piktochart, Excel or other visualization platforms 
  • Experience with advocacy and activism on policy issues 
  • Experience as a facilitator to reach consensus and action 
  • Experience in coalition building, partnership development and engagement with people 
  • from a wide array of backgrounds 
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook) and in social media and public education applications 
  • Experienced in the use and analysis of statistical data 
  • Event and meeting coordination and planning experience 
  • Proven ability to successfully manage projects from conception to implementation 
  • Ability to work effectively in an environment that is frequently ambiguous, and to work harmoniously with different constituencies to create strong cohesive partnerships 
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational and conflict resolution skills 
  • Exacting attention to detail 
  • Self-directed and proactive problem-solving skills 
  • Fluency in languages other than English considered an asset 
  • Current criminal record check/vulnerable sector check 
  • Our goal is to attract, develop, and retain highly talented employees from diverse backgrounds allowing us to benefit from a wide variety of experiences and perspectives. 

We actively encourage applicants from all equity seeking groups. First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Black and People of Colour, people with disabilities, people of diverse gender expression, members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities and people with lived experience of poverty are encouraged to apply. 

In accordance with Ontario Human Rights Code, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and FST’s Equity and Inclusion policy, accommodation will be provided in all parts of the hiring process. Applicants need to make their needs known in advance. 

We thank all applicants and will contact the individuals selected for an interview.

FINA Pre-Budget Consultation Presentation

On Monday, February 7th Campaign 2000 National Director, Leila Sarangi, appeared at the finance committee to highlight several recommendations that we’ve made in our 2022 Budget Submission and child poverty report card, as well as to highlight the recent crisis of low-income seniors who have had their GIS clawed back and are suffering – unable to pay for rent, food, or medications. Click here to watch the FINA presentation or read below for a full transcript.

FINA presentation – February 7, 2022

Leila Sarangi, National Director, Campaign 2000: End Child and Family Poverty

Hello and thank you for inviting me to appear today.  My name is Leila Sarangi and I am the National Director of Campaign 2000, a coalition of over 120 organizations working to end child and family poverty.

Today, I’ll be highlighting several recommendations we’ve made in our Budget 2022 submission and our latest child poverty report card, which found that more than 1.3 million children continue live in poverty.  That’s nearly one in five kids but the rates are much higher for indigenous children, racialized, immigrant, children with disabilities and children in lone-mother led families, among others marginalized by systemic barriers. These families are living in deeper poverty and inequalities are growing.  And while the national rate of child poverty reduced slightly in the last year, when we looked by province and territory, we found it actually increased in several of those sub-jurisdictions.  

I’m going to focus in on two areas – income benefits and childcare – although we address many other essential areas in those documents.

The first is the need to budget for a full CERB Amnesty.  Funds that have been earmarked in the fiscal update to repay seniors who lost GIS, must be released now.  We’ve been hearing from seniors who have lost their housing, who are living in their cars, who can’t afford their medication and food.  Many have contemplated suicide because of this hardship, and too many have lost their lives already. We implore you on their behalf to pay an emergency $2500 to these seniors now and create a new $100 million housing fund to help keep all clawback victims housed.

The CERB has interacted with other federal and provincial benefits.  So, in addition to losing GIS, people with low and moderate incomes have lost child benefits, workers benefits, GST credits, social and disability assistance, housing supplements and other provincial benefits such as those for energy and childcare costs, which they depended on to get through these extraordinarily difficult times.

A full CERB Amnesty would mean that all clawed back benefits would be returned, and it would mean to stop pursuing low- and moderate-income individuals for repayments of pandemic benefits. 

It would ensure that pandemic benefits would not negatively interact with income benefits in this or future tax years.

And it would immediately increase the current lockdown benefit to $500 and maintain that amount until EI is reformed.

We also recommend using the Canada Social Transfer to ensure adequacy of income programs by increasing investment by $4 billion and tying funds to adequacy standards, making sure that provincial and territorial programs are meeting human rights obligations.

Our last two annual report cards have found that the Canada Child Benefit is losing its power.  It needs significantly more investment into the base amount so that it can reach children who are left in deep poverty. Repealing the section of the income tax act that ties eligibility to immigration status would enable access to people with precarious immigration status but who are considered residents under the Income tax Act.

And we support the recommendation of disability communities to speed up the design and implementation of the new federal disability benefit, and we recommend the creation of a new federal disability benefit for children.

While the tax system is broad and ongoing activities to bring more people into it are important poverty reduction initiatives, it will never be universal.  We need a parallel benefit distribution system that is federally funded and works with local charities to get benefits to people who are outside of the tax system.  This kind of work is happening informally in communities across the country, and programs are formalized in jurisdictions around the world that we can learn from.

And lastly, on childcare, a national system has the power to be transformational if designed with low-income families in mind.  Our recommendation is a sliding scale $0-$10/day model that reduces fees through funding of operational costs, not through an individual parental fee subsidy model, which we know from experience hasn’t worked for families and doesn’t actually reduce fees.  Operational funding must also factor in decent wages for staff.  Provincial and territorial wage grids will be an essential piece of this funding policy.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to answering any questions.

February 7, 2022: CERB Amnesty Day of Action

The CERB Amnesty working group has been asking the federal government to stop pursuing people living on low incomes to repay that emergency benefit, and to repay anyone who had other income supports clawed back because they received CERB.  In December, the federal government promised to repay low-income seniors who had their GIS payments reduced or stopped.  But buried in their announcement was that the payment would not come until May 2022

Join us this Monday, February 7, 2022, as we spread awareness of CERB Amnesty and the struggle many seniors are facing right now. On Monday, reach out to Ministers Khera and Freeland to let them know that May 2022 is too late to reimburse low-income seniors.

Click here for more advocacy resources.

What is a CERB Amnesty? 

The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was the first pandemic income support program that was delivered to individuals who lost work when the economy shut down as a result of COVID-19. In the fall of 2021, the CERB ended and was replaced with the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) 

Confusion around eligibility resulted in recipients being deemed ineligible months after receiving the benefit. The failure to make policy adjustments resulted in other benefits being reduced, including social and disability assistance, rent supplements, Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), child benefits, worker benefits and Goods and Services Tax (GST) credits. 

CERB Amnesty refers to all clawed back funds being returned to recipients whose incomes are below or near the low-income measure, immediate cessation of all current and future clawbacks and halting the pursuit of low-income tax filers found ineligible for pandemic benefits.

CERB Amnesty & GIS 

Sufficient funds have been set aside to reimburse GIS recipients in May 2022 for the income they lost as a result of the earlier policy to clawback pandemic benefits. The parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) reported that typical losses to the 88,000+ recipients affected would be in the $5,000 range for each recipient. 

However, many low-income seniors CANNOT wait until May 2022. 

CERB Amnesty & GIS: The Consequences

Many low-income seniors cannot wait until May 2022 for reimbursement. Some have: 

  • Have already been evicted from their housing.
  • Are on the verge of eviction.
  • Their landlords cannot and will not wait until May. 
  • Those who live in rent geared to income housing had rental charges increase by 30% of the pandemic benefits received in addition to the GIS clawback. 
  • Are faced with borrowing against the future payment through payday loan outlets that can charge exorbitant interest rates and perpetuate the cycle of poverty. 

This winter, while shelters are overrun because of the Omicron variant, seniors have and will continue to face eviction and have absolutely no place to go. Seniors are continuing to be evicted from their homes and we know of many seniors from across Canada who are suffering right now. 

Measures to Take Immediately 

  1. Immediately provide an interim down payment of $2,500 to all GIS clawback victims with losses of at least this amount. 
  2. Immediately implement a $100 million housing fund for pandemic clawback victims using a very low barrier distribution method to help keep seniors housed and mitigate evictions; and 
  3. Ensure that pandemic benefits (CERB, CRB and Lockdown) do not result in clawbacks from any other income benefits targeted for people with low and moderate incomes. 
  4. Refund all lost benefit amounts related to CERB/CRB payments 
  5. Stop pursuing people living on low incomes for repayments of the CERB and ensure that no payments are sought for the CRB. 
  6. Legislate the reinstatement of the CRB at the full $500 amount weekly into Bill C-2 until Employment Insurance is reformed; and 
  7. Drastically improve social and disability assistance programs by increasing federal investments into the Canada Social Transfer and tie funding to adequacy standards. 

How To Take Action

Tweet: Minister Khera (@KamalKheraLib) & Minister Freeland (@cafreeland) about GIS clawbacks

Use the hashtags: #CERBAmnesty #Cdnpoli #MayIsTooLate

Let them know that it is unacceptable to make low-income seniors wait until May 2022 to be reimbursed.

Write to Minister Khera & Minister Freeland 

[email protected];

[email protected]

cc: [email protected] 

Re: Emergency payment needed to support seniors who lost GIS due to CERB

Hello, 

My name is [Name] and I am concerned about the timeline for reimbursement for low-income seniors who had their GIS payments reduced or eliminated because they received pandemic benefits. Many are hungry, struggling to pay for medications and rent. Many have become homeless as a result. These seniors are experiencing increased stress and mental health challenges as a result of the hardship this has caused. It is unacceptable to make them wait until May 2022. Please act now. 

Sincerely, 

[Name]