Call to reduce poverty

Published February 1, 2008

Leaders of member denominations of the Canadian Council of Churches – including the Anglican church – on Nov. 26 wrote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, urging that Canada take immediate steps to reduce poverty.

“Poverty is an assault upon the dignity of the poor, robbing them of the opportunity to develop and share their gifts with the world. Poverty also undermines the dignity of the wealthy, for when we fail to share our goods and selves with the poor we fail to live out the image of God who gave his life for the healing of the world,” the letter read.

It noted that some 750,000 children are poor, as well as 42 per cent of urban aboriginals and that an increasing number of immigrants “remain in poverty up to a decade after coming to Canada.”

As Canadian Christian religious leaders, the letter said, “we call on the Canadian government to establish a high level government task force mandated to develop a national poverty reduction strategy” that must include goals and timelines and means of evaluating progress. It must especially include “budget commitments that focus on the needs of vulnerable people.” It asked Mr. Harper for a response.


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