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Montreal is a vibrant city filled with bon vivants which everyone loves. And what is there not to love with all the festivals, the mountain, waterfront, street art, amazing food, hip cafes, terraces, and sports bars just to mention a few. Montreal offers so much for us to enjoy, which most of us take advantage of. However, like a fast growing trend across Canada, 22% of us live in poverty.

How can such a beautiful and vibrant city have such a problem when we have the means that every child never has to go to school hungry. We have the means to make sure every person and every family has a proper roof over their heads, clothing for the winter and nutritional food to eat. But our elected leaders refuse to use the resources at their disposal to make it happen.

We tend to think that poverty is homelessness, but that is only what we see everyday. The working poor is one of the highest percentage of poverty and fastest growing. Not having money to purchase basic furniture like a bed and a table, going without food until your next pay cheque and always being one pay cheque away from being homeless. This is more common than most of us realize; no only in Montreal, or Canada, but the entire world.

Quebec is one the best provinces in Canada at redistributing wealth, but there is little support from the federal level. Children growing up in Quebec have one of the best chances in the world for escaping poverty, however with non-francophones those odds drop significantly. Meaning, racism plays a major role of poverty in Quebec.

The Effects of Poverty

  1. Higher risk of dropping out of school

  2. Lower school readiness

  3. Lower self-esteem and aspirations

  4. Greater risk of adaptation or learning disabilities

  5. Generational problem

Costs of Poverty

Poverty costs society and taxpayers well over $10 billion annually and much higher on the federal level. Costs include the health care system, welfare and the criminal justice system including incarceration. In a study prepared by the city of Toronto, it is estimated poverty costs $5 billion to the city alone.

Actions That Need to be Taken

Poverty and inequality are complex issues that have huge and devastating impacts not only on the individuals effected but also society as a whole. Poverty causes not only economic problems, but health and social problems as well. Creating a long term and meaningful action plan to address poverty would be costly, but not nearly as expensive as doing nothing as is the case today.

A recent inquiry done in British Columbia reported that an effective poverty reduction strategy will cost the province approx $5 billion per year. A staggering amount until you consider that presently it costs over $10 billion annually by doing nothing.

Governments have the resources to enact these policies to significantly reduce poverty. It's the best step forward; legally, morally and economically.

With your support today, you will join our amazing community who believe everyone has the right to live with food, basic needs, transportation and with dignity.