Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Speak Out on Poverty!

Since mid-October, when the National Council of Welfare posted its online questionnaire about poverty, more than 4,200 Canadians and 330 organizations have offered their views on this issue and the need for a nationwide strategy to solve it.

The statistics show a grim picture, with 15.5% Canadians overall living in poverty. That is one out of every six Canadians, amounting to 5.3 million people, who struggle to survive at low-wage jobs, or on disability benefits, social assistance or limited pensions. Of the overall figure, 16.6% are women and 17.7% children.

The call for a national strategy comes in the wake of two Council reports last summer that showed the poverty rate in Canada has not budged in a generation. The poorest among us are getting even poorer!

A comprehensive plan with clear goals and funding to meet them is needed to combat poverty. The goal of a national anti-poverty program must be to to create a national system that provides a decent level of income for ALL families and individuals in need.

Please act now to add your voice to the call, and fill in the National Council of Welfare Anti-Poverty and Income Security Questionnaire. The last day is tomorrow (Dec. 20)!

Canadians must send a clear picture to politicians that we care about this important issue!

Whether you are fairly well off, poor, or somewhere in between, you are affected by poverty, directly or indirectly. Keep in mind that most of us are but a paycheque or two away from poverty ourselves!

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