The free information session, open to the public, will be held May 28 at Living Hope Christian Reformed Church at 1281 Exmouth St. from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
It’s being sponsored by the Poverty Reduction Network of Sarnia-Lambton.
A national plan called Dignity for All: A National Anti-Poverty Plan for Canada, has been by created by Citizens for Public Justice and Canada Without Poverty over the last five years, and its content will be presented at the two-hour session.
Leading the workshop are Janelle Vandergrift, a policy analyst with Citizens for Public Justice, and Michèle Biss, a legal education and outreach coordinator for Canada Without Poverty.
Thea deGroot is a volunteer with the Lambton County Circles program, a member of the local poverty reduction network, and a board member with the public justice organization. She said one in seven Canadian children live in poverty and don’t have enough to eat.
“I really think it’s appalling that in a rich country like Canada we have this much poverty,” deGroot said.
Dignity For All’s national plan suggests changes needed regarding income security, housing and homelessness, health, food security, early childhood education care, and jobs and employment. The two organizations sought input from people who live in poverty and are asking the federal government to adopt a similar plan to alleviate the issue in Canada.
“The plan has been produced and brought to Parliament and has been well-received,” deGroot said.
The authors are travelling across Canada – they’re currently on the east coast and will be stopping in several Southwestern Ontario communities in May – to present it to local stakeholders and those living in poverty. They also hope the federal government and agencies take notice.
“Canada’s a rich country, we shouldn’t have one in seven children living in poverty,” deGroot said. “Dumping it all down municipalities who don’t have a tax base in order to pay for all of these programs is no answer, either.”
The church is offering free parking and refreshments at the workshop. For more information, contact deGroot at 519-542-5009 or [email protected].