Keep The Promise resources
In 1989, the House of Commons unanimously committed to end child poverty. On January 30, 2015, marking 25 years since the unanimous motion to end child poverty was passed by the House of Commons in 1989, a new motion — M-534, put forward by MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan — was debated in the House of Commons. It was subsequently passed, only one vote shy of unanimity.
Keep The Promise was a two-year campaign, launched in 2013, to reignite the commitment of Canadians and their governments to end child poverty for good. While the campaign has concluded, the effort is ongoing and promising, thanks in large part to our two primary partners, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) and Campaign 2000. Inspired by activist June Callwood’s example, Keep The Promise helps kids remind adults that they have not kept their promise to end child poverty in Canada.
This webpage contains resources which were created or compiled by the Keep The Promise campaign since 2013 that may help you engage with others who are taking action.
Public Service Announcements
Resources for educators
Keep The Promise partnered with the CTF on an anti-poverty initiative targeted to grades 5 to 8 classrooms across the country, in a campaign to create an opportunity for students to offer their vision for a Canada where all children have access to the food, education and housing they deserve. This collaboration was later expanded to high school engagement opportunities.
Although the Keep the Promise campaign has concluded, educators can conduct a poverty inquiry with students at any time with the revised lessons provided below. The lessons have direct connections to language and mathematics curriculum, and to learning and inquiry skills. In some cases there are also connections to content in the social studies curriculum and they definitely fit into the overall citizenship goals at all grade levels.
- National Statistics on Child Poverty Fact Sheet
- What Does Poverty Look Like Fact Sheet
- What Children Are Saying
- What People Are Saying
- Keep The Promise Backgrounder
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Keep the Promise song score
Campaign 2000’s Annual Report Cards on Child and Family Poverty in Canada, 2014
- National Report Card
- Ontario Report Card
- Alberta Report Card
- British Columbia Report Card
- Manitoba Report Card
- Prince Edward Island Report Card
- New Brunswick Report Card
- Nova Scotia Report Card
- Dignity for All. A National Anti-Poverty Plan for Canada
- The Hidden Epidemic. A Report on Child and Family Poverty in Toronto
- Fact Sheet on Child Poverty in Toronto
Government initiatives and publications
- Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, 2014-2019 – Realizing Our Potential
- Federal Private Member’s Bill to Eliminate Child Poverty, January 30, 2015 – Motion 534 Child Poverty House of Commons
Research & policy on the significance of childhood experiences
- The Human Early Learning Partnership, University of British Columbia
- Centre for Excellence for Early Childhood Development
- The Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development, University of Toronto
- Child Care Canada Childcare Research and Resource Unit
- Canada Without Poverty/ Canada Sans Pauvrete
- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Articles, literature reviews & editorials
- Daphne Bramham: Promises, Promises But No Answers on Child Poverty, Bramham, The Vancouver Sun, October 9, 2015
- Child Poverty Wide-Spread in Toronto-Area Ridings, Monsebraaten, The Toronto Star, October 7, 2015
- Group Pushes Federal Parties on Poverty, Press, The Record.com, October 7, 2015
- Summit Looks at Child Poverty, Montgomery-Dupe, Cape Breton Post, April 26, 2015
- Cape Breton Youth Summit on Child Poverty Held in New Waterford, Conners, CBC News, Nova Scotia, April 24, 2015
- Ottawa Urged to Put Child Poverty Pledge into Action, Monsebraaten, Toronto Star, March 12, 2015
- Hines Creek Students Get a Taste of the Nation’s Capital, Maggs, Fairviewpost.com, December 17, 2014
- End Child Poverty in Canada Now: Editorial, The Toronto Star, November 21, 2014
- 25 Years After Ottawa’s Pledge To End Child Poverty, It’s Time To Hit ‘Reset’, Oved, The Toronto Star, November 19, 2014
- The Cycle of Child Poverty, Willms, The Toronto Star, November 18, 2014
- Toronto Children Need More Prosperity, Not More Charity: Hume, Hume, The Toronto Star, November 17, 2014
- Three New Studies Find Childcare is Good for Kids, Editorial, The Toronto Star, November 17, 2014
- Keep the Promise to End Child Poverty, Bielfeld & Leddy, The Toronto Star, November 15, 2014
- Family MDs Push Ottawa for Home-Care Strategy and Plan to End Child Poverty, Ubelacker, The Canadian Press, November 12, 2014
- Stacking the Odds Against First Nations Families, Blackstock & Picard, Globe & Mail, October 20, 2014
- The Way to Beat Poverty, Kristof & WuDunn, The New York Times, September 12, 2014
- Almost a million Canadian Kids in Poverty is an Acute Emergency, Lee Ford-Jones, The Toronto Star, September 8, 2014
- No Parent Should Have to Choose Between Groceries and Back to School Clothes, Chapin, The Huffington Post, September 9, 2014
- Don’t Cut Funding For First Nations Children, Chief Shining Turtle, The Huffington Post, May 22, 2014
Resources regarding poverty in Indigenous communities
- Shannen’s Dream
- Jordan’s Principle
- First Nations Child & Family Caring Society
- Canadian Feed the Children National Aboriginal Nutrition Program
- Assembly of First Nations
- Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
- Métis National Council
- National Association of Friendship Centres – Aboriginal Youth Council
- NAFC’s Aboriginal Youth Council
- Poverty or Prosperity – Indigenous children in Canada
- Poverty as a Social Determinant of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Health
Keep The Promise song
CTF’s social justice program, Imagineaction www.imagine-action.ca, is a teacher platform that provides tools and resources to facilitate the development of students’ critical thinking skills; boosts creativity with student awareness of multiple solutions for social problems; and, maximizes student potential for learning through school-community social action projects. Learn more.
OCSB blog posts
In 1989, all three federal government parties promised to end child poverty by the year 2000. Today in Ottawa, 1 in 5 children live in poverty. This is unacceptable! After the Keep the Promise (KTP) National Summit in November 2014, I was so impacted by the commitment, determination and passion of young people that I felt compelled to keep this conversation going. With 20 Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) retiree volunteers ready, and the OCSB committed to host, the conversation continued … with some 50 schools and 250 students participating.
Students from across the Ottawa Catholic School Board recently gathered at the annual Keep the Promise Student Summit to work together to bring an end to child poverty in Canada. Over 65 OCSB students from Grade 5 to Grade 10 brainstormed ways they could make a difference in the lives of impoverished children.
(June 2,1924 – April 14, 2007)
The Road to Kindness
by Patrick Conlon June described Canadian children living in poverty as the country’s ‘invisible citizens’. She knew what she was talking about. She knew firsthand how it felt to be one of them. Born in Chatham, Ontario, she was forced to quit school at 15 in order to help support her impoverished family. She eventually became a journalist and wrote for various newspapers before being hired by The Globe and Mail where she met and then married Trent Frayne, also a journalist. They raised four children. Their youngest, Casey, was only 20 when he was killed by a drunk driver while returning home from Queen’s University. Casey’s death scarred June for the rest of her life. Her first public step into social activism occurred unexpectedly in 1968. Toronto’s Yorkville district was then a popular hangout for wannabe hippies, and June happened to be there one night when a riot started. Tension was high and June feared the police would use violence to impose peace. She stepped boldly between the police and the crowd, many of whom were just young tourists from the suburbs. A photo from the Toronto Star archives shows her staring defiantly at the camera from the back of a paddy wagon before she was hauled away. June went on to become one of Canada’s fiercest and most persuasive advocates for social justice, always driven to help the marginalized and the left behind. She was involved in founding more than 50 social action organizations including Casey House, an AIDS hospice named in honour of her youngest child; Jessie’s, for teen parents; Nellie’s, for abused and homeless women; Maggie’s, for prostitutes; and Digger House, for at-risk teenagers living on the streets. For decades, she was also a persistent supporter of successive campaigns to end child poverty, nabbing every chance to publicly embarrass various levels of government into positive action by arming herself with statistical evidence of Canada’s embarrassing child poverty record on the global stage.
She also built a very successful career as a writer, with more than 30 books and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles to her credit. But her heart was invested in her social action work and she was acknowledged accordingly, with 16 honorary degrees as well as many other auspicious awards including the Order of Ontario. In 1978, she was made a member of the Order of Canada, then promoted to Officer in 1985, and promoted again to Companion, the Order’s highest rank, in 2000. In 2004, the City of Toronto declared its intention to name a street in her honour and then followed a few years later with a park named after her. Despite her deep compassion for anyone robbed of justice or fair opportunity, children remained June’s first priority. She may have been the public face for various campaigns to end child poverty but she also worked quietly in the background and away from the lights. One of her favourite personal projects was a pop-up daycare centre in a major Toronto mall. Neighbourhood parents short of money weren’t charged anything to entrust their kids for the day to professional providers. In her final interview, aired on CBC-TV only days before she died, June was asked what she believed in. Her simple response distilled all of her hard work, all the decades of advocacy and setbacks and triumphs, into four words. “I believe in kindness,” she said. That is her true legacy.
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