Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalitions launches ‘Vote to End Poverty’ campaign

Whitehorse, Yukon – October 13th, 2016 – The Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition officially launched their 2016 Vote to End Poverty campaign today. The goals of the non-partisan campaign are twofold:

  • 1) to make poverty and its elimination an issue for all candidates and political parties and
  • 2) to increase voter turn-put by encouraging everyone to cast a ballot

“The reasons we want to make poverty an election issue are pretty clear”, says Bill Thomas, one of three co-chairs of YAPC. “We are learning through people’s stories and our research that what we are doing just isn’t enough. Poverty is taking a toll on individuals, families, communities and the whole territory.”

  • more than 1,250 people were served by the Food Bank last year and of those, 650 were families. That means that about 1/3 of the food bank’s clientele are children
  • the recent Point-in-Time homelessness count found 256 people who are absolutely homeless or in very precarious housing situations
  • the Living Wage calculation shows that shelter costs account for a huge portion of family expenses – almost $1,800/month for a family of four
  • the rate of food insecurity sits at 17.1% according to the ”Report on Food Insecurity in Canada, 2012”

“We need to talk about housing, food security, access to services and how to close the income gap,” says Colette Acheson, Co-chair of the Coalition. “The territorial government can have a huge and positive impact in all of these areas and we need to get focused on the solutions.”

“Our first step is to get some visual awareness so we are providing buttons and lawn signs (suggested donation of $5) to ensure candidates know that poverty is an issue,” adds Bill Thomas. “People can pick up their signs and buttons at the YAPC offices, 302 Strickland Street or drop in at Challenge, Yukon Learn, the Food Bank or FASSY. We also have someone who has volunteered to deliver signs; call us at 334.9317 and we’ll deliver!”

“Poverty and Homelessness Action Week (PHAW) falls during the Yukon Government election,” says Charlotte Hrenchuk, YAPC Co-Chair. “We are looking forward to a number of community activities including “Seeing for Yourself Tours”, Yukon College Connects and a CBC book club to raise awareness and take action against poverty and homelessness.”

Documents

Party Replies – Added 2 November 2016