Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

What Else Can I Do About Poverty?

What Else Can I Do About Poverty?

What Else Can I Do About Poverty?
December 2009
Get Involved!
December 4, 2009
Please consider some of the opportunities for civic engagement listed below and pick the ones which interest you the most! Below are some current campaigns and a sampling of provincial resources
Dignity for All: The Campaign for a Poverty Free Canada
Dignity for All is a multi-year, multi-partner, non-partisan campaign working toward a poverty-free Canada. Organizations and individuals are invited to endorse this campaign here.
Transform the Social Assistance System
On December 4 2008, the Ontario government made a commitment to “undertake a review of social assistance” as part of the province’s poverty reduction strategy.  After being stalled for a year, the government announced the creation of the Social Assistance Review Advisory Group on December 2, 2009. Although a movement in the right direction, it is urgent that Ontario’s social assistance system be transformed from a punitive, incoherent tangle of contradictory rules and regulations to a person- and family-centred system that treats clients and staff with dignity. This includes raising the rates significantly to reflect the actual cost of living, so that Ontarians don’t have to choose between paying the rent and feeding the children. An easy way to keep updated on the campaign to transform social assistance is through the Income Security Advocacy Centre’s social assistance website.
Do the Math Campaign
As a down payment towards addressing the gap between dangerously low social assistance rates and nutritional requirements, RNAO supports the introduction of a $100 per month Health Food Supplement for adults receiving social assistance. Do the Math campaign is a call to action. Check out the website where you can take a survey and see for yourself how your life would change if you had to rely on social assistance. You can also contact our provincial politicians through this website.
Provincial Housing Consultation
The Government of Ontario is currently developing a Long-term Affordable Housing Strategy so now is an excellent time to let the government know what you think. Between now and December 31, 2009, you can invited to fill in an online questionnaire.

The Housing Network of Ontario has many excellent resources on their website, including a Declaration that you can sign. “We believe everyone in Ontario has the right to live poverty-free and with dignity in housing that is stable, adequate, equitably accessible and affordable.” For the full text of the Declaration and other resources, check out this website.
RNAO Resources on the Social Determinants of Health:
RNAO Action Alert: Urge the Premier to Keep the Promise to Reduce Poverty on the First Anniversary of the Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy
RNAO is a Member of these Coalitions Working for a Poverty-Free Ontario:

25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction
Campaign 2000

Media Tools for Community Engagement
Here are two media projects that might be helpful as starting points of discussion and action:
Home Safe Toronto by the Sky Works Foundation
This documentary is the second in a series of documentaries that looks at how Canadian families are living with the threat and experience of homelessness. More information may be found here.
Poor No More by the Centre for Social Justice
This almost completed documentary follows several ordinary Canadians who go to Ireland and Sweden and find out how other countries have helped people like themselves. To view a clip from the film and read more about the project, please go
Need Help with Advocacy?
If you would like more information, have ideas or resources that you would like to share, or need assistance with your advocacy on working towards a poverty-free Ontario, you are welcome to contact Kayla Scott at RNAO’s policy department at 1-800-268-7199 ext 214 or by email at
For complete text and links of the document, "What Else Can I Do about Poverty?", please click here.

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Resource Type: 
Political Action