A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities
Southwest Alberta Coalition on Poverty 2010 Poverty Report Card
A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
South West Alberta Coalition on Poverty Report Card Project Team: Steve Pedersen Ronda Reach Stasha Donahue
Contact Information: Steve Pedersen Interim President, South West Alberta Coalition on Poverty Email: email@example.com Web: http://www.apha.ab.ca/swacp
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Social and Cultural Rights (2006 UN review of Canada) • Sponsored the Regional Social Inclusion Forum (Lethbridge . 2006) • Sponsored the People's Event in conjunction with the Photovoice project (March 2007) • Sponsored the Rural Affordable Housing 2008 Conference • Coordinated the Building Socially Inclusive Communities in Southern Alberta project (Cardston & Fort Macleod. and businesses working together to reduce poverty and its effects on children.apha.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
About the SWACP The South West Alberta Coalition on Poverty (http://www.
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. families and communities in southwest Alberta by: • Advocating for healthy public policy • Increasing awareness • Strengthening community capacities • Mobilizing community resources • Facilitating community action • Supporting creative solutions To date. we are committed to providing current information on child poverty and related impacts in southwest Alberta.May 2006) • Sponsored "Bridges Out of Poverty" workshop (Oct. 2009) As part of our work in the region. agencies.ca/swacp/) is a regional group of individuals. groups.ab. the Coalition has: • Built and strengthened a coalition of diverse community groups and individuals • Sponsored the first regional forum on poverty in October 2000 • Produced a regional report card on poverty in southern Alberta (1999) • Produced “Action for Our Future – A Community Action Kit for Champions of the Fight Against Child Poverty in our Communities” • Produced a video entitled “What Can Be Done” – a look at community strategies and actions to address child poverty and effects in southwest Alberta • Produced a second video entitled “Sustaining the Journey: Effective Poverty Reduction Strategies in Southwestern Alberta” • Sponsored the 2nd Regional Forum on Poverty (2004) • Sponsored three post-forum community pilot projects • Inclusive Communities Exploration Project (Lead Barb Cavers) • Co-sponsored the Reality Check 2005 Provincial Conference • Partnered with KAIROS to host a People's Forum for the International Covenant on Economic.
24 APPENDIX C – HUNGERCOUNT2009....................................................................25
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........................DON’T BLAME ME................................................... A POEM BY GEOFFREY CANADA .....6 THE NUMBERS.................6 MORE THAN NUMBERS CAN SAY ...................................................................................................................10 SECTION 2 – PREDICTORS OF POVERTY ...............................................................................................................................................................21 APPENDIX A .......16 DISCUSSION..................................................................................................7 RECENT DATA AND TRENDS..................................................................5 WHAT IS POVERTY? ..............A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION .................................................................................10 SECTION 1 – DISTRIBUTION OF POVERTY ...................................23 APPENDIX B – SUMMARY OF 2009 REPORT CARD ON CHILD AND FAMILY POVERTY IN CANADA: 1989 – 2009 FROM CAMPAIGN 2000: ................
words are small comfort and even smaller help.nationalpost. and trends in an effort to help ‘tip’ our society towards a more inclusive and meaningful shared existence characterized by less poverty in its various forms. Borrowing from the words of Elie Wiesel: “It is so much easier to look away. priorities.html?id=2317326
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. poverty remains an abstract concept.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
“End cycle of poverty. Senate committee demands” reads the December 8..com/news/story. our dreams. This Coalition believes in the need to “turn up the volume” on the poverty discourse in our communities.. and is perhaps a more harmful experience of poverty than the limited financial means typically associated with being in poverty. It is.than to really make an impact. troublesome. therefore. we are working on the issue” . However. his or her neighbor are of no consequence. our hopes.It is so much easier to avoid such rude interruptions to our work.
For too many. and activities.
http://www.“yes. in an effort to both raise awareness of poverty and support a groundswell of strategies and actions to alleviate poverty and its effects. their lives are meaningless. For those experiencing poverty in its various forms. How many reports on poverty have been published and to what effect? Some argue that words are useless – a phantom exercise lacking any real meaning designed more to soothe an occasional pang of consciousness about the need to do something . announcing the release of a new Canadian Senate report on poverty. to be involved in another person's pain and despair…for the person who is indifferent. after all.” (Perils of Indifference) This “meaninglessness” is experienced by many living in poverty. And. The purpose of this report is to add meaning to our public and private discourse through the sharing of current data. 2009 National Post headline1. perspectives. words both reflect and influence a culture’s values. thought of perhaps only when it comes knocking at one’s door around Christmastime asking for a handout or when a headline catches one’s attention. awkward.
The Numbers In Canada.” Dr. The underlying difficulty is that poverty is a question of social consensus.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
What is Poverty? Poverty has long been associated with numbers.gc. defined for a given point in time and in the context of a given country.ca/bsolc/olc-cel/olc-cel?catno=75F0002MIE2006004&lang=eng 4 Dr.
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. below which families will devote a larger share of income to the necessities of food. the low income rate for persons can then be calculated as the number of persons in low income divided by the total population. who form a clearly definable minority…this approach rests on the traditional principle of diagnosis which assumes that the world falls into two classes. Paraphrasing from his writings “Concern for sick individuals has led to an attractively simple approach…we wish to reduce the number of sick individuals. if consulted. The LICO is thus used to compare the situation of a family or household to an “average” experience for a family or household of that size in that area to determine if one is “below average” – defined as being of low income. shelter and clothing than the average family would. Yet. few take the time to read the small print – and this important point is lost. We have therefore thought it fitting to include their disclaimer in our own version of fine print. Given this. One of the reasons a focus on numbers is incomplete is that poverty defined this way has only mastered the ability to count to two. This is an indicator Statistics Canada uses which defines “income thresholds. a focus exclusively on numbers can rob of us further understanding. it counts a dichotomous existence – you either have it or you don’t4. Decisions on what defines poverty are subjective and ultimately arbitrary.
Statistics Canada does recognize that “defining poverty is far from straightforward. never as absolutes. 3 http://www.” As with most disclaimers. Statistics Canada has always referred to the low income cut-offs and low income measures as indicators of the extent to which some Canadians are less well-off than others based solely on income and as such. determined by analysing family expenditure data. Geoffrey Rose brought to our attention an analogous situation from the world of medicine – which offers insights into how we think about poverty. Overall. are low income and not poverty measures.statcan. in an effort to create an accurate reference point. namely those who have it and those who do not…This simple model…went virtually unquestioned until 1954 – when George Pickering advanced the revolutionary proposal that the idea of a sharp distinction between health and disease is a medical artifact for which nature. When checking one’s wallet or bank balance and seeing a ‘0’ reflected back – the lack of numbers speaks loudly. This report incorporates both a numerical and a non-numerical perspective on poverty and its effects.”3 LICO’s are defined for five categories of community size and seven categories of family size. poverty is frequently reported using the Low Income Cut Off (LICO)2. Pickering argued that health and disease are experienced in degrees. provides no support.
The shape of poverty is therefore not a line of demarcation dividing persons into one of two groups (see Figure A) but an inclusive curve (see Figure B) wherein all can place themselves5. The question should not be “do you have it?” but “how much of it do you have?” Rather than rely on an arbitrarily defined line.
Figure A: Poverty – The Dichotomous View Figure B: Poverty – The Continuum View
One of the consequences of adopting the continuum as our understanding of poverty is that “then the artificial fences and divisions we erect in our lives and societies (i. More Than Numbers Can Say One idea that has grown from this understanding is the idea of relative income (i. what is found in its place? What is the opposite of poverty? In pure financial terms. it may be riches. commented “By necessaries I understand not only the commodities which are indispensably necessary for the support of life. beyond a threshold of deprivation. it is not what one earns that is most important.e. rather than “whether” one is affected by it in its various forms. it is how those earnings compare to others in one’s society). not in my backyard) are in essence built of material from the same factory which produced the emperor's clothes . in his 18th century classic Wealth of Nations. The idea of relative income is not new. 2008).they exist only in our imaginations (and prejudices)” (Pedersen.e. and not a reflection of the actual reality of things. But many with riches are poor in other areas of their life. Adam Smith.
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. poverty can be thought of in terms of “how much” one is affected by it.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
A common mistake is to forget that the use of dichotomous definitions (you have it or you don’t) represent an operational convenience necessary for determining when to act.. but whatever the custom of
This raises the question of when poverty is diminished.
I suppose. it is not a question of “yes/no” but “how much” in terms of income’s effect. it is presumed. This leads us to the realization that income is important not because of what it is. The gradient simply put exists when an outcome (i. But in the present times.” (Smith. strictly speaking. but because of what it represents. not a necessary of life. Development requires the removal of major sources of unfreedom: poverty as well as tyranny. very comfortably though they had no linen. if a population is divided into five income groupings. Again. The poorest creditable person of either sex would be ashamed to appear in public without them. is. Research into the causes of the gradient has identified them as “autonomy . A linen shirt. The Greeks and Romans lived. to be without.e. the difference in health experienced by the fourth and fifth highest income groupings is related to the difference in income between the two groups. 1776) Custom exerts a powerful influence on what is “acceptable” and therefore also what “deprivation” looks like.e. a creditable day-labourer would be ashamed to appear in public without a linen shirt. health status) changes uniformly by income across categories (i. in the same manner.how much control you have over your life – and the opportunities you have for full social engagement and participation”. The gradient’s message is that how much income one has relates to one’s health in a more profound way than just through the presence or absence of poverty.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
the country renders it indecent for creditable people. nobody can well fall into without extreme bad conduct. quintiles) of a population. and these matters are central to the process of development. neglect of public facilities as well as intolerance…Greater freedom enhances the ability of people to help themselves and also to influence the world. through the greater part of Europe. for example. the want of which would be supposed to denote that disgraceful degree of poverty which.”
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. Another idea related to relative income and relative deprivation is the health or social gradient. and efforts to address poverty as a form of development. poor economic opportunities as well as systematic social deprivation. Custom. Building on this idea is the representation of poverty as a lack of opportunity or freedom. even though both groups have an income far above any statistical definition of poverty or low income. has rendered leather shoes a necessary of life in England. even of the lowest order. For example. In the words of Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen “Development can be seen…as a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy… of the removal of various types of unfreedoms that leave people with little choice and little opportunity of exercising their reasoned agency.
which have been added to our vocabulary and conversations about poverty and its influence. as poverty is so much more than just an income level. our actions eventually must follow6. Additional components. include: • • • • Social exclusion Social inclusion Control of destiny Social participation
As our collective and individual conversations about poverty increasingly reflect a broader understanding. the ultimate objective of efforts to address poverty therefore is not to end poverty by increasing incomes or wages. The vision for efforts to address poverty is captured nicely in the objective for “people to have the freedom to live lives they have reason to value”. responsibilities. of which an adequate income is an important component. This plan grouped its recommended actions into the categories: • • Opportunities for Being (meeting basic need) Opportunities for Becoming (life-long learning and skills acquisition) Opportunities for Belonging (community participation)
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. These steps are necessary but not sufficient. This would result in a more inclusive society where the many forms and influences of poverty are less harshly experienced as society more readily shares the burdens.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Building on these understandings. and opportunities associated with life's experiences (see Appendix A).
This understanding is reflected in the recently published New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan: OVERCOMING POVERTY TOGETHER.
of a group of unrelated persons. and – where possible – compare these figures to the 2001 Census to identify trends over time. this section presents updated numerical figures about the lived experience of poverty.
Refers to a person or a group of persons (other than foreign residents) who occupy the same dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada. Household is inclusive of Economic Families.g. Using this data. For 2006. For census purposes. foster children are included. common-law or adoption. Household members who are temporarily absent on Census Day (e. or of one person living alone.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Recent Data and Trends Statistics Canada’s most recent data is from the 2006 Census. marriage. Refers to a group of two or more persons who live in the same dwelling and are related to each other by blood.
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. of two or more families sharing a dwelling. temporary residents elsewhere) are considered as part of their usual household. Unless otherwise specified. all data in household reports are for private households only. every person is a member of one and only one household. Section 1 – Distribution of Poverty The Canadian Census collects data for a number of indicators of poverty. A couple may be of opposite or same sex.. It may consist of a family group (census family) with or without other persons. including: • Incidence of low income (households)7 • Incidence of low income (economic families)8 • Government transfer payments as % of income • Unemployment rate • Aboriginal population • Movers in previous year • % of children < 6 years of age • % of lone parent families • Adults with no high school certificate Figure 1 shows how these indicators have changed in Southwest Alberta between the 2001 and 2006 Census.
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. fewer people are receiving government assistance. With an understanding of how southwest Alberta compares to itself five years earlier. Or in other words. province. and percentage of rented homes (a decrease since the 2001 Census). It appears that the economic boom in Alberta’s 2005-2006 period had some impact on indicators of poverty. how does the region compare to the province as a whole? Figure 2 compares the same indicators region vs. 10 5 0 Movers in previous year % of children* < 6 years
Incidence of low income (Households)
Incidence of low income (Economic Families)
Government transfer payments %
While many indicators appear relatively stable.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Figure 1: Indicators of Poverty in Southwest Alberta 2001 in Comparison to Southwest Alberta 2006
Indicators of Poverty
Chinook 2001 Chinook 2006
% of Lone-parent Families 30 % of Rented Homes 25 20 15 Adults* with no High School Cert. “adults with no high school certificate” (a decrease since the 2001 Census). fewer people are not completing high school. and fewer people are renting their home. there appears to have been significant change for the indicators “government transfer payments as a % of income” (a decrease since 2001 Census).
A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Figure 2: Indicators of Poverty in Southwest Alberta in Comparison to Alberta
Indicators of Poverty (2006)
% of Lone Parent Families 30 % of Rented Homes 25 20 15 Adults* with no High School Cert. the number of people receiving government transfer payments in southwest Alberta is still higher than the provincial average. It appears that the reduction in persons receiving government assistance is a larger trend affecting the entire province. It also appears that the increasing gaps in education between the region and both the province and where the region was five years ago suggests that this important indicator deserves attention. 10 5 0 Movers in previous year % of children < 6 years
Persons <18 yrs in low income-after tax
Persons in low income after tax (All)
Receiving Government transfer payments
When southwest Alberta is compared to the province at-large. we see that the proportion of “adults (25 – 34 yrs of age) with no high school certificate” is also higher than the provincial average.
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. We also see that even with the decrease from 2006 to 2001 in “receiving government transfer payments”.
particularly female lone-parent families. Lone-parent families. experience a significantly lower annual take-home income than married or common-law couples. Figure 3: Alberta Families' 'Take-Home' Income By Family Type
Median Family 'Take-Home' Income by Family Type Alberta Chinook Crowsnest Pass Blood Nation Piikani Nation Granum Fort Macleod Willow Creek MD Pincher Creek MD of Pincher Creek Glenwood Cardston Magrath Cardston County Vauxhall Barnwell Taber MD of Taber Coaldale Picture Butte Barons Nobleford Coalhurst Leth.County Lethbridge Stirling Raymond Warner Milk River Coutts Warner County 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000 80000
Female lone-parent families Lone-parent families Common-law-couple families Married-couple families
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.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Figure 3 shows take-home income by family type.
Alberta Chinook Crowsnest Pass Granum Fort Macleod Willow Creek MD Pincher Creek MD of Pincher Creek Cardston Magrath Cardston County Vauxhall Barnwell Taber MD of Taber Coaldale Picture Butte Nobleford Coalhurst Leth.
Incidence of Persons in Low Income (after tax .A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Figure 4: Proportion of Persons in Low Income (After-Tax) Figure 4 reinforces the importance of engaging youth in society. The poverty coalition has been working on this strategic direction for the past number of years with our arts-based projects and more recently. the social inclusion projects.County Lethbridge Stirling Raymond Milk River Coutts Warner County
0 5 10 15 % 20 25 30
Children (< 18 yrs. of age) Females Males All Persons
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Co u n ty C oa l hur st N ob l e fo rd Bar ons P ic t u re B ut te C oa lda le MD of T abe r Ta b er Bar nw e ll Vau xh a C ar ll d s to nC ou n ty M ag ra th Car d s to n G le MD nw o of P od in ch er C re e k P in c her Cre W ill ek ow C re ek M D F o rt M ac l eod G ra nu m P iik a ni Na t io n Bl oo dN a tio Cro n w sn est Pas s C hi noo k Al be r ta Cou
As summarized in the Canadian Senate’s 2007 Standing Committee on Aboriginal People’s Report “Sharing Canada’s Prosperity – A Hand Up. Aboriginal people view economic development as fundamental to reshaping their social outcomes and are asking that this area be afforded much greater priority”
http://www.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Figure 5: Median Family Income by Community Figure 5 demonstrates the economic disparities between First Nation and nonFirst Nations communities.
Median Income (after-tax) for All Census Families
nt y C ou tts M ilk Rive r Wa rn e r Ray m on d S ti r lin g Let h b ri d ge Let h . Not A Handout”9 “past and current approaches to improving the economic and social wellbeing of Aboriginal people have not met with great success.parl. The almost exclusive emphasis on social programs and spending by the federal government is. for many.ca/39/1/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/abor-e/rep-e/repmar06pdf-e.gc.htm
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. Increasingly. misguided.
ou n C ty M ou ilk tts R W iver ar R n ay e m r o Le St n d th Le ir br th lin id b g ge rid C ge C oun oa t y N lhu ob rs le t f Pi B ord ct ar ur on e B s C ut o a te Ta ld be ale rM Ta D Ba b e C ar V rnw r ds a e to ux ll n h C all o M unt ag y C ra a th G rds le to Pi nw n nc he H i oo lls d r Pi Cre prin nc e g he k M rC D W illo re w C o ek C w Fo ree ley rt k M MD ac G leo Pi ran d ik u a C B ni m r o l o 14 C w o 7 H s d IN ne 1 O st 48 O P K a TO ss TA L
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. and social exclusion. Single parenthood is a demanding state of life.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Section 2 – Predictors of Poverty Figure 6: Proportion of Lone-Parent Families As someone once said. single parents are required to do twice the work with half the resources. low-income. the proportion of lone-parent families – with some exceptions – is increasing.
Proportion of Lone-parent Families (2001. We can see that in comparison to the 2001 census. characterized by experiences of stress.
A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Figure 7: Unemployment by Community Employment is key to individual and community well-being and viability.0
25. with a number of communities with higher unemployment than the provincial average.0
rate of unemployment
unty Cou tts Milk Rive r Wa rner Ray mon d Stir ling Leth Leth brid ge brid ge C oun ty Coa lhur st Nob lefo rd Bar ons Pict ure B ut te Coa ldal e Ta b er M D Ta b er Bar nwe ll Vau Car xha dsto ll nC oun ty Mag rath Car dsto n Gle nwo od Hills prin Wa g terto Pinc nP ark her Cre ek M Pin D che r Cr eek Cow Willo ley wC reek MD Fo r t Ma cleo d Gra num Piik ani 147 Blo od 1 Cro 48 wsn Ran es t chla Pas nd N s o. There are wide variations in unemployment in southwest Alberta.0
Unemployment Rate .0
15. 6 6M D CHR TOT AL Albe rta r Co Wa r ne
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Despite this reduction. there are still a number of communities in southwest Alberta with high levels of transfer payments. Figure 1 and Figure 2 demonstrated a reduction in government transfer payments in the region and the province. 2005
ou nt y o M utt ilk s R iv W er ar R ne ay r m on St d irl Le i th ng Le brid th g .C e o C unt oa y lh N urs ob t le fo r Ba d Pi r ct ur ons e Bu C tte o M ald D of ale Ta be r Ta be Ba r rn w C ar Va ell ds u to xh n a C ll ou nt M y ag C rath ar M d D G st o of Pi len n nc w oo h Pi er C d nc re W h illo er ek w Cr ee C r k Fo eek rt M M D ac le Pe G od ig ra an n u Bl Re m oo se C d R rve ro w ese sn es rve tP a C ss hi no o Al k be rta C
ar ne rC
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.% of total income.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Figure 8: Government Transfer Payments by Community The percentage of government transfer payments related to total income is related to employment and household earnings.
Government Transfer Payments .
0.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Figure 9: Percentage of Population with no High School Certificate Education is a key contributor to health and prosperity by equipping people with knowledge and skills for problem solving.0
Adults (25 . and increasing opportunities for job and income security.0
ou a y n ty m on St d Le th Le irlin b r th id br g ge id C ge o C un oa ty l N hur ob st le fo Pi Ba r d ct ur ron s e B C u tte oa Ta lda be le rM D Ta Ba b e rn r C ar V we ds au ll to x h n C all ou M n ty ag C rat ar h Pi nc G dst he len on rC w o Pi r e o d nc ek W illo he MD w rC C re r Fo ee ek rt k M M ac D le G od Pi ran ik um an C Bl i 14 r o oo 7 w s d C ne 14 H IN st P 8 O as O K s to Al tal be r ta R
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.) with No High School Certificate
80. providing a sense of control and mastery over life circumstances.34 yrs. A high percentage of persons with no high school certificate is an alarming portend for the future.0
This can be an indicator of challenges in finding affordable housing or socially inclusive neighborhoods.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Figure 10: Proportion of the Population Having Moved in the Previous Year Frequent relocations can be caused by or contribute to poverty. Children in families who move often are often at-risk for a lack of success in school and healthy development. 6 6M D CHR TOT AL Alb erta
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Movers in Previous Year
Cou nty Cou tts Milk Riv er Wa rne r Ray mon d Stir ling Leth Leth brid ge brid ge C oun ty Coa lhur st Nob lefo rd Bar ons Pict u re But te Coa ldale Tab er M D Tab er Bar nwe ll Vau Car xha dsto ll nC oun ty Mag rath Car dsto n Gle nwo od Hills prin Wa g tert on P Pin che ark r Cr eek MD Pin che r Cr eek Cow Will ley ow Cre ek M D For t Ma cleo d Gra num Piik ani 147 Blo od 1 C ro 48 wsn Ran est chla Pas nd N s o.
Roseto was an Italian community which gained notoriety in the 1960s for its extremely low rate of heart attacks despite the presence of all of the conventional risk factors for heart disease. specifically close and mutually supportive relationships among family and extending to neighbors and to the community as a whole. along with the perceived motivation to use those routes”. inclusive communities. This healthy community also understood financial challenges. leadership. to produce routes to desired goals. One way to build supportive and inclusive communities is to adopt a perspective of hope. and in instances of abrupt. and has been defined as “the sum of perceived capabilities. a diminished capacity to be and to do. the community itself assumed responsibility for helping the family. and growth – a process that both creates hope as pathways are followed and also is driven by hope for the attainment of an improved future state. The opposite of hope is fear or despair. The past few years. Pennsylvania. Epidemiological research identified the culture of the community. To the extent we are able to nurture supportive. defined as uncertain
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. Victor Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning writes of a “provisional existence” (Frankl. mutual support. An illustrative example of the potential benefits from focusing on these concepts is found in the story of the community of Roseto. The message of this report is that the common understanding of poverty as a dollar figure needs to be replaced with an understanding of poverty as a lack of freedom. Hope has been identified as a fundamental root cause of well-being. The coalition is also (as of the time of this writing) investigating the feasibility of a microcredit program as a means of offering financial and other supports to those in need in the community. the poverty coalition has been working on the issue of social inclusion in an effort to build more supportive. extreme financial loss. inclusive communities in southwest Alberta. within an environment which allows their expression. related to control of destiny and social participation. vision. as significantly contributing to the healthy state of the community. relatives and friends rallied to the aid of the family. This definition speaks to a process of empowerment.” The power of community buffered Roseto’s residents against stress and disconnected the conventional pathways leading from our prevalent modern lifestyle to the modern killer heart disease. As observed by the researchers “When financial problems arose. we may be able to experience the same. 1984).A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Discussion Poverty is persistent and has a powerful influence on the lives of those it touches.
unpredictable or controlled by others) and unlimited (i.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
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. and supportive southwest Alberta . of no set duration). Unemployment and poverty can fall within this definition.e. We welcome you to join the Coalition as we work to build a healthier. more inclusive.a southwest Alberta connected not by technology but by the common thread of humanity.e.
“Son you’ve been told. Wish I could do more. don’t ask. Who blamed the victim or proudly stood up. You’re going to jail. I know she don’t know her ABCs. I did not let these children fall. were short or tall.” The judge was angry.” he heard instead.” You know the story.hcz. her 1. Can’t read.” If there is a God or a person supreme. By the thousands I helped all I could see. I know it’s sad. can’t write. Just don’t blame me.org/images/stories/pdfs/dont_blame_me. But I am poor and work hard you see. Your school prepared you for this fall. Break the law again and you’ll do time. I did my best to save them all. It’s sad you see. Your momma didn’t take care of you.2. but if the truth be told. for the kind and the mean. No excuses. He reads like he was six years old. He’s ten. “Don’t blame me.pdf
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. pre-judged. it’s don’t blame me.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Appendix A . a poem by Geoffrey Canada
The girl’s mother said. Were cursed. The teacher shook her head and said. And math. were wrong or right. I took full responsibility.” And I will bear witness for eternity That you can state proudly. You’ve robbed with a gun. ignored. And judgment is rendered on who passed the buck. Don’t blame me.3s. He scowled and said.”
By Geoffrey Canada. CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone February 2007 http://www. “Don’t blame me. “Your daddy left when you were two. son. can’t spell at all. Blame the mom. Have you lost your mind?” The young man opened his mouth to beg. “While I couldn’t save all. “Save your breath. A final reckoning. No matter if they were black or white. Were shunned. But you did the crime for all to see. Her father left when she was three. his expression cold. “Don’t blame me. blame the system. blame society. You’ll say to the world. but it’s after three.Don’t Blame Me.
but strong economic growth has helped to move poverty rates down slowly in several provinces.and modest-income families do not have access to affordable housing or high quality Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services Rising costs of post-secondary education are a formidable barrier to lowincome students. • The depth of poverty – the amount of money the average low-income family would need to reach the poverty line – remained high.000 children) and their families live in poverty (2007 LICO after tax). British Columbia. more than 4 in every 10 low-income children have a parent who works full-time throughout the year Children of recent immigrants. the average depth for two-parent and female-led lone parent families was in the range of $9. of Aboriginal identity.campaign2000. like the Working Income Tax Benefit. • Restore eligibility requirements to 360 hours with benefit levels based on the best 12 weeks of earnings for all regions of Canada. are put into place at the same time.
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.500.pdf • About 1 in 10 children in Canada (637. in racialized families and those with a disability remain much more vulnerable to poverty Most low. that’s as large as the population of Winnipeg but does not show the shameful situation of First Nations communities where 1 in every 4 children is growing up in poverty Paid work does not assure a pathway out of poverty. • Seven out of ten provinces have (or will have) a poverty reduction strategy. A worker tax credit of $200 per month would benefit parents who are unable to find or to take on full-time work year-round.A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Appendix B – Summary of 2009 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada: 1989 – 2009 from Campaign 2000: http://www.ca/reportCards/national/2009EnglishC2000NationalRe portCard. in 2007. What’s Needed? • Minimum wages need to be increased to at least $11/hour with indexation by 2011 while increases to worker tax credits. Atlantic and Ontario premiers called on the Federal Government to develop a national poverty reduction strategy to work in concert with provincial efforts to prevent and reduce poverty in 2008. Alberta and Saskatchewan remained uncommitted.
• • • •
What’s Happened since 1989? • Prosperity has not solved persistent poverty.
children made up a significant percentage (37.677 children were assisted by a food bank in March of this year. believing they had a stable income. Nova Scotia (20% increase) and Ontario (19% increase) have been hit the hardest. Overall. Children were particularly highly represented in Manitoba (49%). and those struggling on fixed incomes have been joined by those who. and Alberta (43%).or unemployed. the percentage of employed people utilizing food banks is twice the national average.”
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.2%) of those assisted by food banks.pdf The need for food banks has grown across the country. only to see all or part of that income disappear. Quoting from the report: “What is new this year is that the “working poor. stretched their expenses. Alberta (61% increase). In Alberta.ca/documents/HungerCount2009NOV16. Reflecting the difficulties associated with the economic downturn.” those who are under. 293. As in past years. Saskatchewan (44%).A Basis for Action for Socially Inclusive Communities SWACP 2010 Report Card
Appendix C – HungerCOUNT2009 http://foodbankscanada.