Action Plan Needed to Reduce Poverty and Build Social Inclusion
Framework document won’t make a difference if government lacks will to act
WHITEHORSE - The Yukon NDP Official Opposition has reacted to the release of the government’s Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Strategy Framework Document by calling for less talk and more action.
“It’s unacceptable that it has taken two years to produce a document that says we need to eliminate poverty and social exclusion and provide opportunities for all Yukoners to succeed,” said Jan Stick, Opposition Social Services Critic and NDP MLA for Riverdale South.
“Instead of a broad vision statement, we need a clear plan to actually make a difference in the lives of Yukoners in need.”
The Framework Document explains that “the next step is for government departments to complete the Strategy with action items.” It gives no indication of when this Strategy will be finalized and implemented.
“The action items called for in the Framework Document have been sorely needed for years,” Stick said.
“Improving access to services, reducing inequities and strengthening community vitality are things a caring government should always try to do. The Yukon Party government has failed at this over the past 10 years. Why should Yukoners have any confidence that things will change now?”
The Framework Document identifies the need for government to address homelessness, housing availability and affordability, break the cycle of poverty, and improve access to necessities such as food for those most in need.
“This document recognizes what the Yukon NDP Caucus has been saying for years: Yukon needs a strategy to address the housing crisis, close the growing gap between rich and poor, and better support those in need,” Stick said.
“To achieve those goals, the government needs to create a road map with measurable targets, clear timelines and an implementation plan. Without those things, the situation will remain the same.”
The NGOs and First Nation organizations that helped the Yukon government develop the Framework Document have been calling for meaningful action on poverty reduction and social inclusion for decades.
“I want to applaud the efforts of NGOs and First Nation organizations to hold the government’s feet to the fire,” Stick said.
“I have every confidence they will continue to press the government to move this project forward. It’s time for the government to stop stalling and show it has the will to act. Words alone won’t reduce poverty and build a more inclusive Yukon. Action will.”