The burden of ill health and early death associated with poverty is undeniable. As nurses, we witness the devastating effects of poverty in our day to day work.
In his November 2007 throne speech, Premier McGuinty committed to striking a Cabinet Committee on Poverty Reduction to develop a poverty reduction strategy for Ontario. This week, the provincial government began public consultations across the province to develop its strategy.
However, we are deeply concerned about the consultations. The 13 scheduled consultations are closed-door and by invitation only, and we are wary that people living in poverty will be left out of the consultations. There is also concern that the focus of the consultations is almost entirely on child poverty, ignoring issues such as affordable housing, livable wages, and child care.
RNAO is calling on the government to reconsider and ensure that the consultations are meaningful and open to all. A meaningful public consultation process:
• Is solutions-oriented
• Provides multiple avenues for input
• Makes inclusion a priority
• Reflects geographic diversity
• Partners with local communities
• Treats consultations as the beginning, not the end
• Makes listening a priority for government
As nurses, we urge the government to hold a consultation process that adheres to the principles outlined above.
Urge Premier McGuinty to ensure that an open and meaningful public consultation process takes place. You can send a letter directly from our website below. You can send our sample letter as is, or modify it as you wish. Please make sure to sign your name and RN title at the bottom of the letter.