Elections, voting, and poverty

Opportunities to influence change

2 September 2021

Being informed about elections and exercising the right to vote helps influence change. As both the federal and municipal elections draw closer, we see a few things that deserve some extra attention. VCC firmly believes that in order to make sustainable changes, policies and structures need to change, which is why we developed policy recommendations for Calgary City Council.

The federal election is Monday, September 20. Calgary’s municipal election is Monday, October 18.

There are several hot topics that are strongly connected to poverty reduction and the Enough for All Strategy. Here are a few things to consider and keep an eye on:

  • Housing. The right to housing is on people’s minds. National campaigns like Vote Housing are pushing for all political parties to support making bold investments in affordable housing and ending homelessness. In Calgary, the Community Housing Affordability Collective works to improve housing affordability through cross-sector collaboration and community-based advocacy. Check out Nick Falvo’s 10 Things to know blog for an analysis on what the federal parties are promising with regards to housing.
  • Reconciliation. What are Canada and the City of Calgary doing to advance reconciliation? What we’re hearing is, not enough. It is a time for action, like fulfilling the commitments in Calgary to the White Goose Flying report and the creation of an Indigenous Gathering Place.
  • Basic Income. We have been working with Basic Income Alberta and Basic Income Calgary alongside other national and provincial-based organizations to advocate for a guaranteed basic income in Canada. A basic income means that everyone’s basic needs are met in a dignified and sustainable way. We are encouraging all advocates to help spread the word about the Basic Income Now campaign.  
  • Childcare. Government subsidies for childcare are already demonstrating how changes in policy can have direct and immediate positive impacts on the lives of Canadians. The need to remain committed to these subsides through federal and provincial cooperation is critical. Beyond childcare, a focus on early learning and the potential long-term impacts of the pandemic on our children also remains a priority. Check out the Edmonton Early Learning and Care Council for information on what the municipal government’s role is regarding early learning and care. 

There are many ways to stay informed. Be sure to check out VCC’s Ward Poverty Profiles. We’ll help keep you in the loop, sign-up for our newsletter and follow us @VibrantCalgary.