New research paints discouraging picture of poverty in Montreal

MONTREAL, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, World Vision and Citizens for Public Justice released a joint report, Poverty at Your Doorstep, featuring detailed snapshots of poverty in five Canadian cities. In Montreal the research points to a positive track record of poverty reduction, yet stagnant incomes and rising costs of living are cutting deeply into family budgets.

"In the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve community of Montreal, there's no question that a high percentage of families are facing economic poverty, which begins with attitudes of fear and victimization about managing money. Every day we see families struggling and we have identified a specific need to equip young people to take their future into their own hands," says Sandy Smith of Christian Direction.

"World Vision is on the frontlines of poverty in nearly 100 countries, yet we can't ignore the situation in our own backyard. The gap between rich and poor is growing at an alarming rate and too many families are falling through this country's social safety nets. This report brings home key challenges in Montreal where the poverty rate is one of the highest in Canada," says Carolyn Hebert, World Vision Canada's director for Quebec.

"This report shows Canadians how much farther we need to go to end poverty. Citizens for Public Justice calls persistently for a life of dignity for all. An essential step in that direction is a federal poverty elimination plan that includes long-term solutions such as adequate housing, a fair taxation system and investment in social programs," says Joe Gunn, Executive Director of Citizens for Public Justice.

Poverty in Montreal

  • Approximately one in ten Montrealers relies on social assistance for income support, including 46,500 children per month.
  • The number of people using food banks has grown each year since the 2008-09 recession.
  • Quebec's Action Plan to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion has made a difference, helping to improve family incomes and narrow health inequalities between rich and poor.
  • There has been considerable improvement in the economic situation of single-parents. This reflects the fact that single mothers tend to be older and have higher levels of education and employment than in the past.

Community outreach
Well known for international development and humanitarian relief efforts, World Vision also works with 80 partner organizations to help Canadian children living in poverty. In Montreal, World Vision funds a range of activities such as: skills training for single and immigrant mothers; "French Welcoming" classes for teenage immigrants from Latin America; after-school programs for children in LaSalle Heights; and academic/vocational training for youth in the Cloverdale public housing community who have dropped out of school.

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at

Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) is a national organization of members inspired by faith to seek justice in Canadian public policy.

SOURCE: World Vision Canada

For further information:

Interviews available:
For World Vision and Christian Direction, contact Brigitte Filiatrault (514-521-8216) or
For Citizens for Public Justice, contact Sarah Shepherd (613-232-0275 x225) or


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