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From Words to Action : Alberta Can Afford a Real Poverty Reduction Strategy

November 26, 2013

The Edmonton Social Planning Council, Public Interest Alberta, and the Alberta College of Social Workers present Alberta's 2013 child poverty report card, which shows that despite an improving economy, in 2011 there were 84,000 children in Alberta (29,800 of whom were under the age of 6) living below the low-income measure (LIM After Tax).This year's report suggests reforms that would facilitate additional provincial investment in ending child poverty, and outlines the associated investment values. Other poverty indicators and suggestions for alleviating poverty are also included.

Tracking the Trends 2013: 12th Edition

October 1, 2013

This report contains current and historical demographic and socio-economic data from the Edmonton region. Areas of focus in this report include statistics on education and employment, the cost of living and housing, wages and incomes, poverty, government income supports, social wellbeing, and the demographics of Edmonton.

Impact of the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) Elimination in 2013

June 17, 2013

The Government of Alberta suspended the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) as part of Budget 2013. In response, the InterCity Forum on Social Policy (ICFSP) administered a survey to gauge the impact that the elimination of STEP would have on organizations in municipalities across Alberta. This document provides an executive summary, an analysis of the survey results, and a copy of the questionnaire that was completed by participating organizations.

Achieving the Promise: Ending Poverty in Alberta

November 1, 2012

This report focuses on child and family poverty in Alberta during the post-recession period. Despite the incredible wealth in the province, there are still thousands of Albertans who are struggling to make ends meet. This report shows that more work needs to be done to ensure that Alberta is a more equitable place to live. It also recommends actions that can be taken by provincial and municipal levels of government to address child and family poverty in our province.

In This Together: Ending Poverty in Alberta

November 1, 2011

The recent recession was challenging for all Alberta families but especially so for those with low and modest incomes. There was a dramatic spike in child and family poverty in 2009, the most recent year for which data is available.Alberta also saw its unemployment rate more than double and a dramatic increase in income support caseloads. As a result, demands on human services community organizations are growing, while available resources from both government and the community are shrinking.Evidence is growing world-wide of the value of comprehensive approaches to poverty reduction. In Canada, seven provincial governments are working on strategies to reduce poverty.At the federal level, the Senate produced an excellent roadmap for poverty reduction in The House of Commons renewed its commitment to poverty elimination by passing the following motion with all party support:"That, with November 24th, 2009 marking the 20th anniversary of the 1989 unanimous resolution of this House to eliminate poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000, and not having achieved that goal, be it resolved that the Government of Canada, taking into consideration the Committee's work in this regard, and respecting provincial and territorial jurisdiction, develop an immediate plan to eliminate poverty in Canada for all.4"A possible blueprint for a federal poverty reduction strategy was tabled in the House of Commons on November 18, 2010.5 A key recommendation involved setting up a federal poverty reduction transfer that would support provincial poverty reduction strategies.Unfortunately, the federal Conservative government has not shown much interest in a national strategy since it was re-elected in May 2011.The Edmonton Social Planning Council and Public Interest Alberta have co-published three reports, We Can Do Better (2008), We Must Do Better (2009), and Time for Action (2010).Following the release of Time for Action, work on developing an Alberta poverty strategy accelerated. In November 2010, "A Dialogue on Poverty" was hosted by the Inter-City Forum on Social Policy (ICFSP) and the Family and Community Support Services Association of Alberta (FCSSAA). Over 100 concerned Albertans from across the province participated. Response from the forum unanimously supported the development of a poverty reduction plan.Under the name Action to End Poverty in Alberta, a steering committee representing municipalities and organizations has been formed to champion and lead the development of this comprehensive strategy.The Alberta government, under a new Premier, has reinforced its commitment to the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. The Homelessness Plan, with its measurable targets and timeframe, can be a model for a broader strategy to reduce, eliminate, and prevent poverty.During her leadership campaign, Alberta's new Premier promised to implement a poverty reduction strategy. This builds upon a recommendation adopted last year by an all-party committee of the Alberta Legislature. Introduced by Independent MLA Dave Taylor, and unanimously supported by the other four parties including government members, the Standing Committee on the Economy passed the following recommendation:"In the interests of developing longer-term solutions than can be achieved through minimum wage policy alone, the Government of Alberta should recognize the need for a designed-in-Alberta poverty reduction strategy, study best practices in other jurisdictions and engage in broad-based public consultations in order to create this strategy.6"Implementing a comprehensive strategy to build a poverty-free Alberta is a wise investment.

Tracking The Trends: Edmonton's Increasing Diversity

October 20, 2011

Tracking The Trends: Edmonton's Increasing Diversity provides a comprehensive picture of many aspects of Edmonton's social well-being. This 11th edition of Tracking the Trends presents a number of new social and economic data variables in addition to updates on the trends featured in the 10th edition released in 2009.This edition of Tracking the Trends features a special section on Edmonton's increasing diversity. Edmonton is becoming a more diverse city in terms of religion, race and ethnic origin. These trends have important implications for Edmonton's future, offering both opportunities and challenges.This edition also includes an updated Social Health Index. The intent of this index is to provide a rough measure of the overall social health of Edmonton, and how it has changed over time.Presented together, these trends give us a clearer picture of the social changes taking place in Edmonton. They also offer a broad understanding of the segments of the population which are disadvantaged or marginalized.

Time for Action: Working together to end poverty in Alberta

October 24, 2010

This report shows that 53,000 Alberta children lived below Statistics Canada's low-income cut-off (after-tax) in 2008, and that number is probably higher today due to the effects of the recession on our economy.The report traces economic consequences of living in poverty in Alberta, offers some recommendations and directions to move forward, and scans poverty-reduction strategies in other Canadian provinces and territories.

We Must Do Better: It's Time to Make Alberta Poverty-Free

November 24, 2009

This report, authored by Jim Gurnett (in partnership with the ESPC, Public Interest Alberta, and the Bissell Centre), is a follow up to the We Can Do Better report released in 2009. We Must do Better overviews: the results of 5 poverty forums held across the province in 2009;recent statistics on poverty and unemployment in Alberta; and,potential public policy and program options that would help to reduce or eliminate poverty.

Non-Profits and Policy Advocacy: Learning from Success

July 1, 2009

This document is a review of successful non-profit policy advocacy practices. Using case studies and examples from Alberta, Canada, and internationally, this guide outlines how and why non-profits should participate in policy advocacy, and breaks down some of the key features of successful policy advocacy efforts. The appendices contain further policy advocacy resources and contact information for policy advocacy coalitions working on a variety of campaigns.

We Can Do Better: Toward an Alberta Child & Family Poverty Reduction Strategy

November 24, 2008

77,595 children live in poverty in Alberta, Canada's wealthiest province. We Can Do Better outlines the most current statistics on child and family poverty in Alberta & offers solutions that would allow us to do better for our most vulnerable children and families.

"It's Time to Step Up": Recommendations to Address Rental Housing Issues in Edmonton

September 1, 2008

It's TIme to Step Up is the companion report to "Not just a Roof Over our Heads". It reviews the ESPC's recommendations in response to the Edmonton Renters' Survey results.In June 2007 the Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC) made 13 recommendations to address the crisis in rental housing in the report A Roof Over their Heads. These recommendations were based on what we heard at two renters' listening forums held the previous month. The results of our Edmonton Renters' Survey, presented in the report Not Just a Roof Over our Heads, show that renters' situations have not improved over the past year despite the recent stabilization of the rental market. Many renters continue to have difficulties affording shelter and their other basic needs, and the persistent lack of affordable alternatives gives renters little control to change their situation. Low and modest income households are facing the greatest difficulties; wage increases have not kept pace with rent increases, leaving families less able to maintain a decent standard of living and putting them at greater risk of financial crisis (including the loss of their housing) in the event of unforeseen expenses. The survey results also highlight major concerns with housing maintenance and safety.

"Not Just a Roof Over our Heads": Exploring the State of Rental Housing in Edmonton One Year Later

September 1, 2008

Not Just a Roof Over our Heads reviews the results of the ESPC's 2008 Edmonton Renters' Survey, which was conducted April 16 to May 31, 2008. The report is a follow up to the ESPC's 2007 report, A Roof Over their Heads.