Common Front for Social Justice

 

Press release

Toward October 17 th , International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Launching of the Social Solidarity Contract campaign, our Web Site, and the Orange Ribbon by the Common Front for Social Justice

Monday, Octobre 4, 2004, Moncton, N. B. The Common Front for Social Justice has been fighting for several years on four very important issues: Minimum Employment Standards, Income Assistance, Pay Equity, and Employment Insurance. We believe that major changes are needed in all these areas in order to increase the income of thousands of people, and to also reduce the poverty level.

Our present efforts will center around two of these issues: an increase in the minimum wage, and an increase in basic income assistance rates.

For this campaign, we have produced a Social Solidarity Contract . It is :

  1. an educational tool intended to initiate discussions and reflection on poverty and its place in our society;
  2. a mobilizing tool in the sense that the Common Front, together with other community organizations, are organizing meetings to explain the contract, ask individuals and organizations to endorse it and to join our organization in our fight against poverty
  3. a means of putting pressure on our elected representatives to consider the plight of the poor in New Brunswick.

Before Christmas, the Common Front will deliver the Social Solidarity Contract into the hands of the Lord government.

Given the inequalities between individuals and families, our society adopted social programs or regulations to assist those in need and those in unfair situations in the workplace.

These programs or regulations have all undergone tremendous cuts over the last ten years, increasing inequalities and accentuating poverty.

With regard to minimum wage, our province has caught up a bit over the last years, but it still remains behind the minimum wage rates of the majority of Canadian provinces.

In 1978 , New Brunswick's minimum wage was $2.80. If we consider only the increase in the cost of living; to maintain the purchasing power of the minimum wage in 1978 it should have been set at $8.10 in January 2003. We still have a long way to go.

Thousands of individuals and families in New Brunswick are living in very, very difficult economic and social situations.

For too long, people living in poverty have not felt sufficiently supported by the rest of society.

The Social Solidarity Contract is intended as a first step towards the opening of a larger debate on the type of society in which we live, on the social consequences of poverty, and on the means of rapidly reducing poverty, and eventually eliminating it.

We are today also launching our Internet site: www.frontnb.ca where you can find the Social Solidarity Contract , as well as an orange ribbon, as distinctive sign of our fight against poverty.

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For further information please contact Mary Anne LeBlanc, Co-chair of Common Front for Social Justice, at 633-9881 or 857-2125 (CF Office), or Sister Auréa Cormier, member of Justice and Solidarity, at 382-5315 (O) or 389-9705 (H)