2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005

Highlights of Make Poverty History campaign since its inception in 2005:

Highlights in 2010 include:

  • Launched the At the Table Campaign with 80 partners calling for bold actions at the G8 and G20 Summits to combat poverty, make real progress on climate change and fix the global economy.
  • Presented Prime Minister Harper with petitions signed by 1,744,124 people from around the world calling on G8 and G20 leaders to take action on poverty, climate change and fixing the global economy.
  • Organized a Civil G8 Dialogue between G8 Sherpas (the top G8 government negotiators) and 60 civil society representatives held in Vancouver.
  • Launched the Robin Hood Tax campaign which pressed G20 leaders for action on Financial Transaction Tax.
  • Successfully pressured the Canada to propose a Maternal and Child Health Initiative at the G8 Summit. Canada committed $1.1 billion in new funding over 5 years to this initiative.
  • Won a key victory in creating a seat for the African Union at the G20 Table.
  • Pushed Canada to produce a G8 Accountability Report detailing what the G8 has delivered on past commitments.
  • Commissioned poll that found 61% of Canadians support increasing aid budget.
  • Helped to draft private member’s bill for a Poverty Elimination Act which was introduced in the House in June.
  • Released a Canadian MDG Report assessing Canada’s contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
  • Urged Prime Minister Harper to attend UN MDG Summit in New York and announce a 20% increase in Canada’s contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which he did.
  • Organized over 100 STAND UP events held across Canada.
  • Over 20,000 email messages sent by Make Poverty History supporters to decision-makers.

Highlights in 2009 include:

  • An announcement in June by the Manitoba government of a poverty reduction strategy in response to campaigning by Make Poverty History Manitoba.
  • Passage of a resolution in the House of Commons, with all party support, calling for a national poverty reduction strategy on November 24, the 20th anniversary of the resolution calling for an end to child poverty by the year 2000.
  • A commitment at the Italian G8 Summit in July to US $20 billion in aid over three years to support smallholder farmers in the world’s poorest countries grow more food for their people. Make Poverty History online actions and the presence of MPH staff in the media centre at the G8 Summit along with the campaign by our international partners in the Global Call to Action Against Poverty created the public pressure needed to produce this result.
  • Another record set for the most people participating in a single action at the STAND UP days of action with 100,000 Canadians and over 173 million people world-wide demanding action on poverty. Make Poverty History led the organizing effort for STAND UP in Canada.
  • Poverty reduction became law in Ontario with all party support for an amended poverty reduction Bill 152 on May 6. Make Poverty History supporters played a key role in collaboration with the Ontario 25 in 5 Network in getting the Ontario government to develop a poverty reduction plan through online and on-the-ground actions during the 2007 provincial election and then pushed for extensive community consultations to help improve the plan in 2008. In 2009 Make Poverty History pressed opposition parties to propose amendments to improve the Ontario poverty reduction act rather than just voting against it, which they did and the government accepted many of the suggested amendments which resulted in an improved act as well as all party support.
  • The parliamentary Human Resources and Social Development Committee (HUMA) was persuaded to hold cross-country hearings as part of their study of the federal role in poverty reduction strategies in the Spring of 2009 through online actions by Make Poverty History supporters and lobbying by staff in Ottawa. The Make Poverty History Halifax local group organized a very successful public meeting with Members of Parliament who are members of the HUMA Committee members on the evening before the formal hearings took place. Make Poverty History also made a presentation to this committee. This committee is expected to issue their report in 2010.

Highlights in 2008 include:

  • The Better Aid Bill (Official Development Assistance Accountability Act) was passed with all party support. This act requires that Canadian aid be focused on poverty reduction, that the government report on its aid program to Parliament and that it consult with civil society representatives on how to improve aid effectiveness.
  • The Get to the Point advertising campaign was launched with support of many Canadian celebrities.
  • The Vote to Make Poverty History campaign succeeds in making poverty a key issue in the 2008 federal election campaign.
  • Stand Up and Take Action global days of action saw over 75,000 Canadians taking part.
  • At G8 Summit in Japan leaders were forced to acknowledge the need for better accountability on their past promises.

Highlights in 2007 include:

  • Standing Committee on Finance in its Pre-Budget Consultations Report endorses Make Poverty History’s calls for a timetable for Canada to reach 0.7% and a plan to end child poverty.(February 2007).
  • Government announces changes to Specific Claims policy in advance of Day of Action to Make Poverty History for First Nations. (June 2007)
  • Ontario government announces Cabinet Committee to develop a poverty reduction strategy for Ontario following provincial election where MPH helped to get all party leaders to support call for poverty reduction strategy.
  • Growing public opinion support for increasing aid. A poll taken in June 2007 found that 45 per cent of respondents said Canada should increase its humanitarian aid to poor countries, even if it affects domestic spending. This is up from 31% in January of 2005 before the Make Poverty History campaign was launched in Canada.
  • Toronto Star announces “war on poverty” with editorial on Jan. 1, 2007 which cites the Make Poverty History campaign. Make Poverty History representatives Gerry Barr, Dennis Howlett and Laurel Rothman meet with Editorial Board. Toronto Star prints articles daily on global and domestic poverty and weekly runs editorials on poverty issues. Also prints several op-ed by Make Poverty History.
  • 25 Local Group Organizing Workshops were held involving participants from 65 federal electoral districts. 55 active Local Groups have been formed covering 65 key swing ridings.
  • Make Poverty History set-up information booths at twenty concert venues and signed up thousands of new supporters in partnership with the Tragically Hip and Billy Talent bands during their nation-wide tours.

Highlights in 2006 include:

  • 1000 candidates from 5 federal parties in the federal election pledge support to the MPH objectives. Their names were posted to our website, with an analysis of party platforms, before the election.
  • All-candidates meetings on MPH issues held across Canada and 600 supporters attend the Toronto debate, which is televised by CPAC.
  • 178 candidates who pledged support to MPH objectives are elected – a majority of MPs in the new House – January 23
  • East Coast Music Awards in Charlottetown adopt MPH theme, keynote speech on Music and Social Change by MPH co-chair Gerry Barr– February 25
  • Live Aid Concert in Montréal, hosted by Justin Trudeau- March 23
  • Action Alert from Bruce Cockburn and Susan Aglukark generates over 6000 e-mails urging action on aid and child poverty by Finance Minister in the 2006 budget. New Conservative government continues annual 8% increases for foreign aid and maintains funding for social housing.
  • Action Alert from Stephen Lewis generates over 10,000 emails to Prime Minister Harper calling for Canada to contribute to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which it does.
  • Over 500,000 white bands in circulation.
  • Make Poverty History for First Nations campaign was launched by the Assembly of First Nations in collaboration with Make Poverty History in November 2006

Highlights in 2005 include:

  • Celebrity launch of the Canadian Make Poverty History campaign in February in Ottawa.
  • Launch of “click ad” with Sarah McLachlan, Gord Downie and other Canadian celebrities gets much national play on TV, Air Canada flights and other events.
  • Make Poverty History organizes events across Canada for the First International White Band Day, in July, in advance of the G8 in the UK.
  • Live 8 Concerts (growth in individual campaign supporters – up from 50,000 pre-concert to 100,000 post) – July 2
  • MPH Day of Action to End Child poverty in Canada (events across Canada and rally on Parliament Hill)– Oct 17
  • MPH meetings with 70+ MPs on Parliament Hill (MPH is recognized by decision-makers) – October 26 and 27
  • Bono/MPH press conference on Parliament Hill (extensive media, Bono endorsement of MPH Canada campaign, popularizing call for 0.7%) – November 24
  • Over 100 celebrity endorsers
  • Over 200,000 individual endorsers
  • Promotions at U2 concerts in 4 Canadian cities increase number of sign-ons to Make Poverty History.
  • Canadians increasingly support the campaign’s goals. EKOS poll found that 43% of Canadians surveyed agreed with Statement “Canada should increase its humanitarian aid t poor countries even if it means less spending in other important areas.” This showed a significant increase in support for foreign aid since January when it was only 31%.” EKOS analysis of the results pointed to the G8 Summit and the Live 8 concerts as reasons for the change in public opinion.
  • Municipalities endorse Make Poverty History, and our goals – we have had mayoral proclamations or city council resolutions in municipalities including Barrie, Calgary, Charlottetown, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor, Vancouver.