Make Poverty History Manitoba seeks to achieve our vision of a Manitoba without poverty through campaigns, advocacy, and collective action.
We believe in the need for informed public policy and action from government to change systems and end poverty. We believe in the development and implementation of adequately resourced, comprehensive and effective anti-poverty plans at all levels of government based on the principle of social inclusion, with targets and timelines for outcomes. We also advocate for specific policy goals to achieve our vision of a Manitoba without poverty.
Much of our community campaigns work is focused on the provincial government of Manitoba, though we call on action from all levels of government toward poverty reduction plans, strategies, and specific policy actions.
Our Advocacy Story
Manitoba has been home to fearless organizing and social justice movements toward a more equitable society for hundreds of years.
In 2008, a coalition effort was clearly needed to work together, call on all levels of government for urgent, strategic action to end poverty, and put forward the community's vision for what a plan to end poverty could look like. Make Poverty History Manitoba formed at this time out of a multi-sectoral collaborative coalition made up of approximately 30 Winnipeg organizations from the Indigenous, newcomer, labour, women’s, health, business, education, student, and disability communities and agencies. This group evolved out of an early group in 2004, including the Women’s Health Clinic, the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence and other organizations initiating discussions in the community about anti-poverty legislation.
The initial steps toward a broad coalition were set in 2008, when we launched a discussion paper indicating the need for a comprehensive provincial poverty reduction plan: The Time for Patience is Over: Toward a Poverty Reduction Plan for Manitoba.
Through many months of community consultation, our call for a provincial poverty reduction plan and suggestions for details within it was launched. The View From Here (2009) includes calls for a targets and timelines set out by the provincial government toward ending poverty, as well as specific policy recommendations.
Later in 2009, the Manitoba government announced its first official poverty reduction plan - All Aboard: Manitoba's Poverty Reduction Strategy - a direct result of our community advocacy.
Since that time, our coalition has consistently undertaken collective action to continue on this success. We advocated successfully to raise the shelter rates of Rent Assist to 75% of the median market rent. We've led campaigns calling for higher EIA rates, investments in housing, and more.
Later, it became apparent for the need for a renewed poverty reduction strategy, and we launched the The View From Here (2015), including 49 renewed policy recommendations that are expected to have the broadest impact on poverty reduction in Manitoba. It was endorsed by 95 organizations, a full list of which can be found within the report. Our policy recommendations focused on nine key areas: housing, income security, education, neighbourhood and community approaches, food, transportation, disability supports, health and child welfare.
The View From Here 2015 launched the kNOw Poverty campaign during the 2016 Manitoba Provincial Election. Out of the 49 policy recommendations, the need for a provincial comprehensive plan, as well as initiatives in the areas of housing, EIA, childcare, minimum wage, and community-based mental health services were prioritized as requiring immediate attention through a community consultation process.
Our call for a comprehensive provincial poverty reduction plan remains, as well as our call to action on our other specific policy recommendations. Read more about the kNOw Poverty campaign to find out more!
In 2017, we have also ramped up our calls for municipal governments, particularly the City of Winnipeg, to play a more active role in poverty reduction, including introducing a municipal poverty reduction plan. Read more about our campaign - Winnipeg Without Poverty - to learn more!
Our Advocacy Wins
- Published The View From Here: Manitobans Call for a Poverty Reduction Plan in 2009, which led to the launch of a provincial poverty reduction strategy (which had never existed in Manitoba's history) that same year
- In 2011, MPHM successfully advocated for provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy Act, legislating the government to create and report on a provincial poverty reduction strategy, and ensure future government would have to report on their efforts toward poverty reduction in every single budget, and review their plan every five years.
- Launched a campaign in 2012 calling for raise to shelter benefits to 75% of median market rent. This was successful in 2014 - when $20 million was invested in Rent Assist program - a portable shelter benefit that raises shelter benefits to 75% of median market rent. This idea received unanimous provincial party support for the program.
- Got commitments from all parties in the 2015 election toward poverty reduction, including during debates on major platforms, and acknowledgement from current Premier about necessary work toward poverty reduction
- Along with other voices and groups in the community, pushed for community-based mental health services as response to meth crisis in Winnipeg in 2018-19 as well as getting the City of Winnipeg to stop a Request for Proposals to remove temporary shelters
- Advocated for City of Winnipeg Low Income Bus Pass, which was passed in Budget 2019 - will be three year phased in program, cutting bus pass costs by 50%
- Pushed 2018-19 for City of Winnipeg to adopt a poverty reduction plan in 2019-20