Canadian CED Network Board Endorses Dignity For All Campaign

July 28, 2009

CCEDNet board endorses the new anti-poverty campaign ‘Dignity for All’ being led by Canada Without Poverty (formerly the National Anti-Poverty Organization) and Citizens for Public Justice. 

Building the Conversation with Members of Parliament.
In the final month before Parliament rose for the summer, campaign staff and committee members were active in their engagement on Parliament Hill.

Several organizations appeared before the HUMA committee as part of their hearings on the federal contribution to reducing poverty in Canada. Follow these links for more information about presentations by Campaign 2000, Canada Without Poverty and Make Poverty History, the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation, and Citizens for Public Justice.

On June 9, NDP MP Tony Martin hosted a Poverty Roundtable at which participants discussed the NDP’s proposed Canada Poverty Elimination Act. Participants considered several questions related to the prospective law: what visions and principles should be reflected in the preamble? What elements should be included in the legislation? Should there be a Poverty Commissioner? What about measures, targets, timelines, and accountability?

There was significant support for ideas put forward by Canada Without Poverty, namely that the Act be grounded in the human rights framework, that it include official and robust measures of poverty and social exclusion, and that the corresponding poverty elimination plan be developed in consultation and cooperation with those living in poverty. Tony Martin and his colleagues in the NDP will continue to gather input into this process; consultation on a draft bill is anticipated in the fall, following which consideration will be give as to how best to introduce it to the House.

Smaller meetings were also held with a number of MPs. Rob Rainer and Kelly Law (Canada Without Poverty), and Karri Munn-Venn (Citizens for Public Justice) met with NDP MP Megan Leslie on Monday, June 15. It was a wonderful opportunity to explore various aspects of the Dignity for All campaign, and to learn more about the experience that Ms. Leslie brings to the House of Commons. Megan has a long history of social justice engagement in Halifax, including membership in the Community Coalition to End Poverty and the Affordable Energy Coalition. She offered her enthusiastic support for the work of the Dignity for All campaign.

Also on June 15, Karri Munn-Venn (CPJ), Kelly Law and Rob Rainer (CWP) met briefly with Liberal MPs Wayne Easter, David McGuinty, Marcel Proulx, and Bryon Wilfert outside the House of Commons. They introduced the Dignity for All campaign, acknowledged the openness that several Liberal MPs have expressed towards more concrete federal action on poverty, and emphasized the urgency of the situation of poverty in Canada. The MPs welcomed the information and offered assurances that it would be duly considered.

Your Turn: The Summer Barbeque Circuit.
Now that parliament has risen for the summer, we’d like to pass the baton over to you for the next leg of the run. We encourage all Dignity for All supporters to plan to attend your MP’s summer BBQ, to take a minute to talk to them about the Dignity for All campaign, and to persuade them to sign-on.

We are calling for: (1) a federal plan for poverty elimination that complements provincial and territorial plans; (2) a federal anti-poverty Act that ensures enduring federal commitment and accountability for results; and (3) sufficient federal investment in social security for all Canadians.

Postcards are available for download at…. And please, get a photo of you and your MP with their signed postcard and send it in. Photos submitted will be posted on the Dignity for All website.

To find out when and where your MP is hosting their event visit the Parliament of Canada website and click through to their website, or simply google them.

Thank you for your support! Please forward this bulletin to your colleagues, friends, and family so that they too can be a part of Dignity for All!

You can find out more about the campaign here: