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Sault Ste. Marie MP Tony Martin & Brant NDP Federal Candidate Marc Laferriere.

Brantford, On – Sault Ste. Marie NDP MP Tony Martin the author of Bill C-545: An Act to Eliminate Poverty in Canada will be visiting Brant Riding on Thursday Sept 30th.   Mr. Martin is the Federal New Democrat tasked with 3 important portfolios: Poverty, Persons With Disabilities and Human Resources and Skills Development.

Mr. Martin is the newest addition to the line up of panelists that will be appearing at Sydenham Street United Church (120 Sydenham St) for a 7pm screening of the documentary “Poor No More.”  Also appearing will be the film’s Executive Producer David Langille and Brant Federal New Democrat Candidate and Canada Without Poverty Board Member Marc Laferriere who will lead a community discussion on poverty following the 1 hour documentary.

“We’re excited to be doing this event for Canada Without Poverty and think its great to have our Federal Poverty Critic here to listen to local issues,” said Laferriere.  “Canada Without Poverty was one of the organizations that worked very closely with Mr. Martin on the Poverty Elimination Act and it’s exciting to have our community included in building support across party lines so that this bill will pass in The House Of Commons.”

The event will be a Pay What You Can event with all proceeds going to the Canada Without Poverty. (www.cwp-csp.ca).

Martin and Laferriere will also be participating in a roundtable discussion that afternoon with various community agencies on ways the Federal government can improve supports for persons with disabilities.

“I’m coming to Brant excited to engage with the community on two very important issues,” said Martin. “On top of that we’ll be supporting Canada Without Poverty and the important work that they do across the country. Poverty effects us all and it’s time we had a Federal anti-poverty plan which reflects that reality.”

Please click on the poster below to go to the Facebook Event Page:

About Poor No More:

Poor No More offers solutions to Canada’s working poor.  The film takes three Canadians to a world where people do not have to beg, where housing is affordable and university education is free. They ask themselves:  if other countries can do this, why don’t we?

Hosted by TV and film star Mary Walsh, Poor No More offers an engaging look at Canadians stuck in low paying jobs with no security and no future. Mary then takes us on a journey to Ireland and Sweden so we can see how these countries have tackled poverty while strengthening their economies. It offers hope to those who have to work two jobs a day and to those who cant find work.

Poor No More is the first film to explain the roots of the economic crisis, its impact on Canadians, and what can be done about it. It is designed to build public support for a real reduction in poverty. Poor No More will attract a wide audience and help move this issue from the margins to the mainstream.

About Bill C-545:

Bill C-545, An Act to Eliminate Poverty in Canada, was introduced in the House of Commons by New Democrat MP Tony Martin on June 16, 2010. It was seconded by Liberal MP Michael Savage and Bloc MP Yves Lessard. The legislation provides for strong federal leadership to deliver a comprehensive poverty elimination strategy in partnership with provinces and territories and other key stakeholders.

“Poverty elimination is an exercise in nation building, a responsibility we must not abdicate,” New Democrat Poverty critic Tony Martin (Sault Ste. Marie) said. “Three provinces already have laws, six have started their own poverty reduction strategies and this legislation deals with bringing Ottawa onside so this and all future governments and Parliaments will make eliminating poverty their goal.”

The poverty elimination strategy in the legislation includes:

•                Core priorities of income security, housing and social inclusion;

•                a strong human rights framework;

•                Picking a poverty measurement, as no official definition has impeded action;

•                Gender-based analysis, different urban and rural responses and dealing with specific factors that put some at greater risk, like aboriginal status, child rearing and single parenthood, low wage, immigration or refugee status, low education, and prolonged illness and disability.

•                Leadership by the entire government with health and income security ministers taking the lead;

•                An independent Poverty Elimination Commissioner to monitor and hold the government accountable, and a stronger, renewed National Council on Welfare to be called the National Council on Poverty and Social Inclusion.

Other than the core priorities mentioned – income security, housing and social inclusion – the identification of specific poverty elimination measures will be identified in the consultation process spelled out in C-545. There is also an opting out clause for Quebec.

The bill recognizes that those people living in poverty like everyone else bear primary responsibility for their own self care but that responsibility is often diminished by structural barriers they face in their communities and in society at large.

“Ending their poverty will produce healthy communities and a strong economy,” Martin said. “If we don’t, there is not only the unacceptable human cost of leaving so many behind but we will continue to pay for it massively and for generations to come.”

Rob Rainer, Executive Director of Canada Without Poverty speaks on Tony Martin’s Poverty Elimination Act:

“This Act would anchor federal action on poverty to Canada’s international human rights commitments.  The law would also ensure the government is held to account for its action or inaction.  Whether one is poor or not, we are all hurt by poverty and so there is a powerful self-interest in seeing this law triggering a robust federal response to poverty and everything that spirals downward from this condition.”

The Dignity for All Campaign issued this statement about Tony’s Poverty Elimination Act:

“Not only does this bill speak to a tremendous need in this country, it also reflects significant civil society consultation and multi-party collaboration. Congratulations to Mr. Martin, and thanks to MPs Mike Savage (Liberal) and Yves Lessard (Bloc) for their support of this legislative initiative.

Built on a strong human rights framework, the bill emphasizes income security, housing and social inclusion as core priorities. “The purpose of this Act is to impose on the federal government the obligation to eliminate poverty and promote social inclusion by establishing and implementing a strategy for poverty elimination in consultation with the provincial, territorial, municipal and aboriginal governments and with civil society organizations.”

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