May 2, 2019 6:29 am

‘It’s an exciting moment’: Advocacy group applauds Winnipeg plan for poverty reduction

WATCH: Make Poverty History Manitoba tells Global News Morning about how many people poverty impacts in Winnipeg.

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An advocacy group is pleased with a recent move by City of Winnipeg’s Executive Policy Committee to create a poverty reduction strategy.

The committee unanimously passed a motion Tuesday to spend the next year creating the plan.

Make Poverty History Manitoba said while it has taken time to get to this step, they are pleased with how the city has been engaging.

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READ MORE: Advocates call on Winnipeg mayor for poverty reduction strategy

“About a year ago we launched a report that was reflective of what various food banks and shelters felt needed to happen in order for the city to have a effective plan,” Make Poverty History Manitoba’s Michael Barkman said.

“We built good relationships with city officials and also did some activism on the streets to ensure the city saw the need for this plan. We’re really excited to see this move forward,” Barkman added.

Barkman said this kind of action is needed.

“Between 92,000 and 110,000 Winnipeggers live in poverty. Poverty disproportionately affects Indigenous people, newcomers, women, LGBTTQ2 people, single parents, and more,” Barkman said.

Barkman also pointed it out that poverty reaches into all areas of the city.

“Depending on how you look at it, poverty is concentrated in intercity communities, but there are pockets in every ward and neighbourhood in this city.”

READ MORE: Students visit Winnipeg Harvest, gain understanding of poverty close to home

He said there were challenges in getting the motion to finally make it through to city councillors.

“You sometimes think this is something for the province or federal government to address, but you’re really starting to see a call of all levels of government to take action,” said Barkman.

“You also start to realize the impacts and costs it can have on a city if it’s not addressed,” he added.

Barkman hopes the city’s strategy is bold.

“Winnipeg can be realistic and can also be visionary and lofty when it comes to setting out goals and ideas,” he said.

Barkman said the groups aims to work closely with city staff to ensure the strategy is effective as it can be.

WATCH: City’s Executive Policy Committee passes Poverty Reduction Strategy

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