On Friday, December 4th, Mr. Brendan Reimer, Regional Coordinator for the Prairies and Northern Territories of the Canadian CED Network, made a formal presentation to Parliament's Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA). Reimer called for a comprehensive approach to poverty reduction grounded in the principles of Communicty Economic Development.
"We are talking about people in communities working together at a local level to generate innovative and effective initiatives that create economic opportunities for individuals, families, and neighbourhoods in ways that improve social and environmental conditions," said Reimer. "The CED model understands that complex community issues require multi-faceted and coordinated responses."
Reimer referred to the The View from Here, a Manitoba-based document co-produced by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Make Poverty History Manitoba that calls for a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy with indicators, targets, and timelines.
"When capital projects are undertaken, we recommend that the federal government implement training and apprenticeship components that ensure that skill development happens in the local community."
Reimer mentioned a number of areas where community-led CED initiatives could provide greater social and economic benefit to communities across Canada, but ended by emphasizing the need for a meaningful national poverty reduction strategy.
"There's a long history, and there's current strength and innovation in communities across the country already working at reducing poverty," Reimer concluded. "But what we need is strong government leadership..."