General Synod 2010

A178: National Strategies to Address Poverty and Homelessness (carried)

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Subject: National Strategies to Address Poverty and Homelessness

Moved by: The Most Rev. Colin Johnson, Diocese of Toronto

Seconded by: The Rev. Canon Joyce Sanchez, Diocese of Montreal

Be it resolved that this General Synod:

  1. Calls on Parliament and the Government of Canada, in conjunction with provincial, territorial and local governments, the not-for-profit and private sectors, and with Canadians, to adopt policies in the next three years that will establish:
    1. a national strategy to ensure adequate and affordable housing for all Canadians;
    2. a national strategy to reduce or eliminate poverty in Canada by 50% over the next 10 years and to substantially reduce the growing gap between rich and poor by 2020.
  2. Affirms the endorsement of the Dignity for All Campaign, launched by Citizens for Public Justice and Canada Without Poverty, with these stated goals:
    1. a federal plan for poverty elimination that complements provincial and territorial plans;
    2. a federal anti-poverty Act that ensures enduring federal commitment and accountability for results;
    3. sufficient federal investment in social security for all Canadians.

Source: Partners in Mission and Ecojustice Committee

Submitted by: Ms. Henriette Thompson, Director, Partnerships

Does this motion contain within it any financial implications?    Yes __ No x

If yes, has the General Synod Expenditures Committee considered the implications?   Yes __ No –


  1. The Anglican Church of Canada has a faithful record of working with and for people of low income and people facing homelessness.  Every day our church members offer food, shelter, clothing and spiritual comfort to people who are struggling to find or stay in long-term affordable housing.
  2. Yet we cannot solve poverty and homelessness by ourselves.   The gospel of Luke tells about the importunate widow (Luke 18:1-9) who came day and night to ask justice of the local judge, until the judge eventually granted her request out of exasperation.
  3. We recognize we all have a role to play to reduce poverty.  However, only government can accomplish the structural changes to law, programs, and policies that are essential for a successful poverty reduction and housing strategy.  Only government can re-allocate the resources of society more equitably through its regulatory and taxing power, and increase its funding of social programs.
  4. The federal government has the power to grant justice by:
    • Putting into place a national housing strategy that enshrines housing as a human right
    • Taking the lead to ensure a renewed supply of affordable housing in Canada
    • Designing a strategy that focuses on housing as a solution to homelessness
    • Improving access to and increasing benefit rates of national income support programs
    • Giving recognition and resources to Canada’s social sector, including churches, which serves vulnerable people and strengthens our social infrastructure.


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