QUÉBEC, November 28th 2007 – The “COMMON MISSON: Building a poverty-free Quebec” campaign was launched today. It is centered around a petition to the National Assembly which has three main goals: obtain universal access to quality public services, increase minimum wage to a level which makes it possible to work one’s way out of poverty, and increase social benefits to insure health and dignity to those lacking sufficient revenue. Signing this petition is a civic contribution toward a poverty-free Quebec and human rights, leading to a society enriched by all of its people.
These demands are supported by a round of public consultation which included over 4,000 people across Quebec, based on the following facts:
- hundreds of thousands of Quebec citizens are deprived of the basic living conditions necessary for self-realization and participation in social affairs;
- hundreds of thousands of workers, mainly women, are paid such poor wages that, even when working full time, it is impossible to work themselves out of poverty;
- public services are increasingly downsized, and tariffs or other conditions for participation are pushed to unreasonable levels;
- the low income cut-off level is set at $21,202 per year (2006) for single persons;
- the level of the Market basket measure, including basic goods and services, is set by Statistics Canada at $13,267 per year (2007), and Canada’s public pension program guarantees revenue of at least $13,636 per year (2007);
- universal public services are necessary for a democratic and egalitarian society to function .
Which is why the signatories ask the National Assembly, in order to implement the spirit of the Act to combat poverty and social exclusion, to see to it that the government take the necessary measures so that:
- all citizens have indiscriminate universal access to quality public services;
- minimum wage reaches at least $10.16 an hour (2007) and be reviewed annually, in order to allow single persons working 40 hours per week the possibility of working their way out of poverty;
- social benefits increase to ensure every person a revenue equal to the Market basket measure - $13,267 per year (2007), and be adjusted annually, so that all may preserve their health and dignity.
In November of 2000, the Collective for a Poverty-free Quebec proposed legislation to eliminate poverty in Quebec, following province-wide public consultation. Two years later, the National Assembly unanimously voted to adopt the Act to combat poverty and social exclusion.
Active since 1998, the Collective for a Poverty-free Quebec‘s membership unites 32 provincial organisations whose work shapes issues of public interest, community affairs, workers’ rights, religious, feminist, student or regional affairs; regional collectives are present in fifteen Quebec regions. These organisations share a mission to fight against poverty, defend civic rights and promote social justice. Hundreds of groups and individuals from many sectors of civil society form the Collective’s support network.
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|28 novembre 2007
|19 août 2015