Poverty reduction strategy one step closer
- EFN Staff | August 24, 2015
The Advisory Group on Poverty Reduction (AGPR) presented its final recommendations to Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer today. Government will now begin the process of considering these recommendations as it works to develop Saskatchewan’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.
“I would like to thank the Advisory Group for the excellent work they have done in gathering so many different perspectives on this important issue,” Harpauer said. “I am confident the group’s recommendations reflect the ideas heard across our province on how we can reduce poverty. I look forward to reviewing the recommendations, and working with my colleagues to develop a plan that will help everyone benefit from our province’s prosperity.”
The group’s recommendations are organized into six key priority areas: income security, housing and homelessness, early childhood development, education and training, employment and health, and food security.
“On behalf of the AGPR, I would like to thank Minister Harpauer for the opportunity to advise government as to how we can all work together to best meet the needs of those experiencing poverty in our province,” AGPR Community Co-chair Alison Robertson said. “We urge government to act quickly, as we know that addressing poverty as soon as possible will translate into better outcomes for people and families, and ultimately for the province as a whole.”
As well as reflecting the ideas of Saskatchewan citizens, the Advisory Group’s recommendations build on other major initiatives related to poverty reduction. These initiatives include the Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan, the Saskatchewan Disability Strategy, and the Joint Task Force on Improving Education and Employment Outcomes for First Nations and Métis People.
“I look forward to sharing our government’s commitment to actions later this year,” Harpauer said. “Our government will consider the AGPR’s recommendations and come back at a later date with our next steps in the development of the province’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.”
The SPRP, a partner in Poverty Costs, is enthusiastic about the recommendations presented by the Advisory Group for Poverty Reduction and urges the provincial government to develop an implementation and evaluation framework that includes specific targets, timelines and accountability measures that will address the goal of decreasing poverty by 50% over the next 5 years.
The Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership (SPRP) exists to communicate, collaborate and catalyze local action aimed at poverty reduction and improving the lives of people in Saskatoon who struggle to make ends meet. The SPRP recognizes that there is more to poverty than meets the eye.
“There are countless circumstances that exclude so many people from participation in economic, social, and political decisions. Poverty costs the entire community. These costs are seen across the sectors including: health, education, justice, social services, employment, economy and housing; and account for an estimated cost of $3.8 billion,” says Dr. Julie Kryzanowski, co-chair of the SPRP.
The SPRP firmly believes that this is a step in the right direction and is excited to see that the recommendations are focused on multi-sectoral, preventative concepts such as housing, early years, income and health.
Related story: Government names poverty reduction panel