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Reducing poverty: a real social project!

Centraide of Greater Montreal
Open letter

Centraide of Greater Montreal invites political groups to commit to taking concrete steps to combat poverty and social Exclusion.

In an article published in La Press+ at the end of august, only one of the four party leaders was able to estimate with sufficient accuracy the percentage of Quebecers living below the poverty line, currently at more than 11% (source: Institute of Quebec statistics).

This illustrates the extent to which the fight against poverty should be taken into account by our political leaders. In fact, more than one person in ten has to deal with it on a daily basis. There is an urgent need to act. Immediately. Specifically. Truly.

Greater Montreal is particularly affected: 21.3% of its population lives in a context of poverty (source: statistics Canada). Close to 615 000 individuals, or 53% of all people living with low incomes in quebec, reside in greater Montreal. Women heads of Lone-parent families and newcomers are particularly affected. As a result, no fewer than 130 000 children and young people are growing up in Poverty. While it is true that we are in a favorable economic period, the rate of poor workers remains high. According to a study by the National Institute of Scientific Research in greater Montreal, 40% of people living in poverty are working. Employment alone is no longer a way out of Poverty.

In 2015, a CROP survey carried out for the press revealed that the political project that made Quebecers the most dreaming was the eradication of Poverty. In addition to being the aspiration of the population, such a project would be economically profitable, as experts estimate the cost of poverty in Quebec to more than 15 billion million (source: Centre for study on poverty and exclusion of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and social solidarity).
So can we really afford the luxury of ignoring these issues that also lead to human distress, distress and isolation?

Quebec could be inspired by the innovative practices of several other countries, not to mention that a few weeks ago the federal government launched its new strategy entitled A chance for all and aimed to reduce poverty in Canada by 20% by 2020 and by 50% by 2030. This certainly ambitious target is attainable, but only if, together, all three levels of government and civil society, we are deploying the resources and energies necessary to achieve this.

Centraide of Greater Montreal is committed day in and day out in the fight against poverty and social Exclusion. With the support of tens of thousands of donors, businesses, unions and institutions, we are supporting innovative initiatives in neighbourhoods, high-performance community organizations and concrete projects in which Citizens are investing. We work with all the players who put their shoulders to the wheel to allow everyone to have their chance and to live in Dignity.

So today we are calling on the political parties: you who aspire to lead quebec, How do you intend to contribute to this great project of which you will be the master of work, This society initiative that is the fight against poverty and social exclusion?


Nathalie Bernier
Chair of the Board of Directors of Centraide of Greater Montreal

Lili-Anna Pereša, C.Q.

President and chief executive Officer of Centraide of Greater Montreal