Moncton Chapter of the N.B. Common Front for Social Justice 

326 St George St, Moncton, NB E1C 1W1 

(506) 855-8977; fcjsnb@nbnet.nb.ca 

January 27th, 2020 – Press Conference 

New campaign targets myths and prejudices about people living in poverty 

The Moncton Chapter of the Common Front for Social Justice is launching today a new campaign in Southeastern New Brunswick. The aim of this publicity campaign is to counteract the most common myths and prejudices about people living in poverty. 

It is important to expose these prejudices and misconceptions because they are constantly used to blame people being forced into poverty for circumstances beyond their control. In fact, circulating false ideas categorizes certain people on social welfare as being “non-deserving”. This influences the public to believe that they don’t make the necessary efforts to move out of poverty. As a result, certain politicians are reluctant to support vigorous public policies targeting poverty reduction, and in doing so, they give credibility to the notion that only the so-called “deserving poor” should get help. In doing so, they disregard the thousands of people who are unable to cover their basic needs because of visible or invisible physical disabilities, mental problems or other types of barriers. 

This new campaign is based on information gathered with the Nominal Group Technique to analyze prejudices. Members of the Moncton Chapter recruited people with lived experience in poverty to verbalize the prejudices they often hear regarding people on social assistance. Moreover, a questionnaire was sent to 30 community organizations asking them to identify the most common prejudices. This research made it possible to identify over 20 negative perceptions and attitudes toward social assistance recipients. 

The aim of this campaign is to counteract the three most common prejudices that were identified: 1) They are lazy and don’t want to work; 2) They should get off drugs and booze and 3) They choose to be on social assistance. 

We have produced six videotapes, three in English and three in French, that feature people who tell the truth about people living in poverty. These will be diffused on YouTube and FaceBook. 

Our campaign also includes radio Ads to counteract the three most common prejudices. The paid ads will be aired during eight weeks on three radio stations: 89.5 CJSE, 91.9 – the Bend and 96.9 – New Country Music. 

These damaging prejudices result in untold suffering by innocent people year after year. Today thousands of people in New Brunswick, including up to 7,000 children, are leading lives of quiet desperation. For them, living in poverty, each day is a grim struggle to survive, while going hungry is an ever-present threat. 

Unfortunately, unfounded prejudices portray social assistance recipients as the authors of their own misfortune. This campaign organized by the Moncton Chapter of the Common Front for Social Justice wants to tell the truth about people living in poverty. 

We are available for questions. 

Contact: Auréa Cormier: 854-0675 

Robert MacKay: 961-7182