The City of New Westminster, B.C. has been on the leading edge in Canada of municipally-driven poverty reduction efforts. The Mayor, Jonathan Cote, is a champion for poverty reduction, and was a keynote speaker at last year’s poverty summit, , called Cities Reducing Poverty: When Mayors Lead. He said many important things on the subject of poverty reduction in tht presentation, but one remark that stands out was: “Poverty Reduction cannot be done off the side of anyone’s desk.” In other words, poverty reduction must be made a priority, and resources must be committed to the effort.
New Westminster is putting its money where its mouth is, and has recently released a community poverty reduction strategy. Along with that document, the City developed a very interesting document that is relevant in every community, called Poverty Mythbusters. It’s a very interesting read that could be very helpful in overcoming stereotypes about poverty, and offers different perspectives on the face of poverty.