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Burlington, September 15, 2011 -  Today, thousands of voters in communities across Ontario are asking the Ontario provincial political parties to make ending poverty a priority in this autumn’s election with an election “sign blitz” and media conferences. This is a call on all Ontario’s political parties to outline their plan of action to fight poverty in our province and ensure progress for all.

The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition’s (ISARC) Faith To End Poverty Campaign and the Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO) are partnering in the Poverty Free Ontario initiative. At media conferences held simultaneously in cities and towns across the province this morning, faith groups and community leaders are launching an election-style “sign blitz” with one message: “Let’s Vote for a Poverty Free Ontario”. Sixteen communities across Ontario are participating in similar media events and sign blitz launches – north, south, east and west across the province.

This non-partisan message asks candidates from all political parties to make poverty elimination a priority concern in their election campaigns. The attached sign can be displayed in windows, on doors and on bulletin boards across the community to show support for a Poverty Free Ontario.

In Halton Region, a press conference with faith leaders from the Interfaith Council of Halton and representatives from Voices for Change Halton and the Halton Poverty Roundtable is being held at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oakville at 10 am to inform the community that hidden under our facade of affluence, poverty is an issue in Halton and one that should be addressed by candidates and voters.

Please take this sign, print it and use in your own organizations as well as at home to participate in the "sign blitz". In addition, we have attached a brochure that provides material for you to hand out when you speak to candidates and their representatives about ending poverty as a priority in the Provincial election when they come to your door.

SIGN - Let's Vote for a Poverty Free Ontario
Brochure - Poverty Free Ontario

Other Election Activity of Note in Halton

To help Halton voters understand how their candidates plan to address poverty, Poverty Free Halton, Community Development Halton and the Coalition for Assisted and Social Housing (CASH) have sent a questionnaire to all candidates in the ridings of Burlington, Oakville and Halton. Results will be posted on Poverty Free Halton’s website by September 20 at www.povertyfreehalton.ca. I encourage you to carefully consider what your candidates say and ask you to encourage your family and friends to do the same.

The YMCA of Oakville and the Halton Poverty Roundtable will host an All Candidates Meeting at the YMCA of Oakville on September 20. This will be a unique opportunity for you to ask questions about poverty and inequality across Halton with candidates Kevin Flynn (Liberal); Larry Scott (PC); and Lesley Sprague (NDP). The All Candidates Meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 20, from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. in Multi-purpose Room 5 (Kinesis Room).

It's Time to say we need a Poverty Free Ontario

People from different backgrounds and from diverse communities across the province are working toward the goal of eradicating poverty in Ontario. We know that this is achievable. Working together with all sectors in society, all levels of government, and especially people living on low incomes, we can remove barriers, provide supports, and create opportunities so that all Ontarians can live with opportunity and dignity.

For more information, contact:
Dr. Joey Edwardh, Executive Director
Community Development Halton
(905) 632-1975
jedwardh@cdhalton.ca 

John Versluis
Co-Chair
Poverty Free Halton
info@povertyfreehalton.ca

The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition is a provincial network of faith groups dedicated to faith-based approaches to public policy reform in the areas of social justice and poverty elimination. www.faithtoendpoverty.ca

Poverty Free Ontario is an initiative of the Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO) working with local community groups across the province www.povertyfreeontario.ca