Statement following Tuesday's Hunger & Poverty Provincial Forum

This Manitoba election – we must focus on POVERTY. 

Almost 1 in 10 Manitobans live in poverty. It’s a root cause of so many key issues in Manitoba – the mental health & addictions crisis, worsened health outcomes, crime and incarceration, and social exclusion.

On Tuesday, August 20th, Make Poverty History Manitoba, along with partners in our coalition at Winnipeg Harvest, Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, Canadian Centre for Policy – Alternatives, and the Canadian CED Network, hosted a Hunger & Poverty Provincial Forum. 

Thanks to all who attended or viewed the debate on our Facebook livestream and to our moderator, Richard Cloutier, for taking the time to moderate his 97th debate!

Many thanks to representatives from the Manitoba Liberal Party, Green Party of Manitoba, and the Manitoba NDP for attending. 

For the many people in attendance who have lived experience with poverty, this forum was one of their only chances to engage with political leaders on issues that impact their daily life.

Since 2008, Make Poverty History Manitoba, made up of organizations and individuals, has been leading non-partisan advocacy to encourage government to take urgent, strategic action to end poverty.

MPHM is disappointed that the PC Party declined to send a representative to the event and is concerned with the reasoning provided by Premier Pallister, as well as the distraction that this has caused. 

The Premier’s view of MPHM as “antagonistic” distracts from the real issue at hand – addressing poverty – while suggesting that public debate on issues that affect all Manitobans is to be avoided. This only serves to weaken democracy in our province.

MPHM remains committed to contributing to democratic discussions through evidence-based policy that addresses poverty. As an anti-poverty coalition, we are only antagonistic towards poverty and policies that perpetuate it – and that’s what we must focus on in this election.

Throughout the remainder of the campaign, we will be raising up stories from those living in poverty and advocating for our collective vision on how to change policy to end poverty for all Manitobans. 

We will be launching a series of videos with real stories, policy ideas, and challenges expressed by Manitobans with lived experience of poverty. Watch the first one here.

Read more about our coalition’s six policy priority areas here.

We have lawn signs! Come pick up your very own – anytime Monday-Friday 9:30am-4:30pm at 432 Ellice Ave.

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