amilies Minister Scott Fielding and Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart are inviting Manitobans to share their thoughts on how to prevent and reduce poverty as they announced the launch of consultations that will guide the development of a new poverty reduction strategy.
“The reasons for poverty are complex and multi-dimensional and we want to hear Manitobans’ diverse experiences so we can develop an innovative, inclusive and people-focused strategy that includes meaningful measurement and targets,” said Fielding, who co-chairs the province’s Poverty Reduction Committee with Wishart. “Consultations will focus on pathways to move Manitobans out of poverty, and input from citizens and stakeholders will help us identify priorities.”
The process will start with targeted consultations of Manitobans who have experienced poverty to hear about the daily challenges and critical realities they face, as well as an invitation for all Manitobans to provide written submissions. These conversations will inform the development of an online survey that will be available early in 2018.
Beginning today, the province is consulting people with lived experience in Winnipeg, moving to Brandon, Selkirk, Thompson and other locations in the coming months. The process will engage a variety of community organizations, advocates and experts to help guide the renewal of Manitoba’s poverty reduction strategy. Key areas of discussion include basic needs, education and training, employment, health and well-being, and sense of belonging.
“All Manitobans should have access to the resources and opportunities they need to achieve a better quality of life,” said Wishart. “Poverty reduction requires a collaborative, co-ordinated effort across government and community. We look forward to hearing from Manitobans on their ideas and experiences on how we can work across society to alleviate the impact of poverty.”
The comprehensive approach supports The Poverty Reduction Strategy Act, which requires the Manitoba government to review and update its plan every five years.
The ministers confirmed progress or stability on 17 out of the 21 indicators Manitoba had established to track progress on poverty reduction, as required by the act’s regulation. They noted the forthcoming strategy will feature a renewed set of indicators to measure progress.
Fielding also noted the Manitoba government is awaiting details of a federal poverty reduction plan to identify areas where alignment may be possible.