In August 2018, the federal government released Opportunity for All, Canada's first national poverty reduction strategy. The Salvation Army participated in the development of the strategy in a number of ways including attending federal and provincial roundtables, engaging in ecumenical conversations and advocacy efforts, and submissions to the federal government.
In our advocacy efforts, we encouraged governments to recognize that poverty is about more than just lack of income, and that it impacts individuals, families and communities in multiple ways. We are pleased to see that many of the recommendations we made during the consultation period were adopted into the strategy.
In March 2020, shortly after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, The Salvation Army was honoured to be identified as one of 5 national organizations that could play a key role in ensuring Canadians had food on the table during COVID-19.
In December 2020, we were honoured and privileged to attend a roundtable with the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and AgriFood Canada and her cabinet colleagues in which the Minister thanked the volunteers and organizations whose tireless work and dedication ensured Canadians were able to put food on the table throughout 2020.
In February 2021, the Public Affairs Office submitted a response to the Department of Finance pre-budget consultation and urged the federal government to continue to invest in income security and food security measures as well as homelessness prevention measures for individuals, households and families continuing to experience economic uncertainty in the face of COVID-19.
In our submissions to federal policy makers, we advocated that poverty is not just about lack of income. Instead, it impacts and is impacted by other areas of individuals' and families' lives, including: