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Activists in Charlottetown launch anti-poverty campaign

Wanda MacDonald, left, and Mary Boyd hand out bags, replete with Halloween candy and pamphlets, to lunch-hour pedestrians on Kent Street in Charlottetown on Wednesday. Activists are attempting to raise awareness about what they believe are inadequate anti-poverty policies from the Trudeau Liberals.
Wanda MacDonald, left, and Mary Boyd hand out bags, replete with Halloween candy and pamphlets, to lunch-hour pedestrians on Kent Street in Charlottetown on Wednesday. Activists are attempting to raise awareness about what they believe are inadequate anti-poverty policies from the Trudeau Liberals. - Stu Neatby

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Several anti-poverty activists gathered on Kent Street during the noon hour on Wednesday to call for an end to poverty in Canada.

The group handed out paper bags bearing the words “Chew on this!”

The bags contained a postcard to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as fridge magnets and Halloween candy.

The brief event was aimed at drawing attention to the 850,000 people in Canada who visit food banks each month, as well as the growing ranks of the “working poor” in P.E.I. and elsewhere.

On P.E.I., 22 per cent of children live in food insecure households according to the group. About 5.8 million people, or one in six in Canada, live in poverty.

Activists say the Island has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the country.

The “Chew on This!” campaign aims to draw attention to the recent Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy released by the federal government in the summer.

Activists say the poverty plan did not follow through on the Trudeau government’s promise to eliminate poverty by 2030.

The group said the federal plan was a positive step but did not offer adequate funding to provide for adequate affordable housing and increased income support for anti-poverty programs.

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