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Oct. 17 is the international day for the eradication of poverty. CUPE has endorsed two global campaigns focussed on eliminating poverty world wide.

“Essentially, fighting poverty is at the core of our work,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist. “Through public education, fighting HIV/AIDS, protecting and promoting decent jobs for young people and defending quality public services, we are walking the walk.”

Public services - like health care, water, education and waste collection - reduce the effect of income disparities. In contrast, privatized services increase poverty, disproportionately among women.

CUPE, as a member of the Make Poverty History campaign is part of an effort to get the Canadian government to live up to the committment it made when, in 2000, it agreed to the eight “Millennium Development Goals.”

Among other goals, Canada committed to:

  • more and more effective aid,
  • faster and deeper debt relief, and
  • fairer trade rules

Thirty years ago, Canada committed to spending 0.7% of its Gross National Product on overseas development assistance. Canada currently spends 0.33% of its GDP on aid. And there’s no plan to increase that percentage.