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Shifting Societal Attitudes

Deep and durable poverty prevention and reduction will not be possible until the deep-seated attitudes of Canadians toward people in poverty are fundamentally shifted. A comprehensive, long-term, multi-faceted plan with many partners is needed if this is to succeed.

Opportunities convened a national group of interested professionals that has been meeting by phone since 2007 to confront the issue of how Canadians think and feel about people in poverty. In 2009, they struck a working group to develop a framework for action that included:

PHASE 1: Research and examine current Canadian attitudes towards those living in poverty through past or future national studies, opinion polls, and surveys.

PHASE 2: Research and examine national and international “best practices” related to shifting attitudes and behaviours.

PHASE 3: Design and launch a comprehensive, long-term, multi-faceted national campaign to “shift” current attitudes towards poverty in Canada.

An initial scan of literature pertaining to this issue was conducted. It became apparent that there is very little research on deep-seated Canadian attitudes towards people living in poverty. We are currently working to gain traction for the Phase I.