Redford announces plan to help Albertans living in poverty
Progressive Conservative Leader Alison Redford is promising to help people living in poverty.
She says there are many reasons why people live in poverty, but the key is to find them the right agencies for help.
"This community-led initiative will result in equality of access to the economy, better health for the impoverished in our community, stronger families, safer communities and increased civic participation," said Redford in a release.
"The reason I created the human services ministry was to bring all elements of social policy together under one ministry, which makes it possible to create a comprehensive model that will support our most vulnerable citizens."
At a senior's centre in east Calgary she said her government would focus on a five-year plan to end child poverty — and a ten-year plan to reduce poverty overall.
Redford stresses reducing poverty is not about handouts or bigger cheques, but using programs to help people stay in their homes.
She plans to make the department of human services more efficient in budgeting, which should result in savings that could be directed into the poverty reduction plan.
Members of Public Interest Alberta’s Human Services and Poverty Task Force, which has been advocating to eliminate poverty for the past six years, were pleased by the announcement — which they say is long overdue.
"However, while we applaud [Redford] for making this commitment, we are also very concerned about the lack of specifics in the plan," said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, executive director of Public Interest Alberta.
"The notion that the funding for this strategy will only come from cuts to the ministry of human services is ridiculous."
He said a real comprehensive plan must involve many ministries and will require long-term investment in many key areas.