As we head into a new year, Canadians are experiencing an affordability crisis. Wages have not kept pace with inflation while food prices are rising higher than ever. Add to that housing costs which continue to take up a significant portion of people’s budgets.
But change is possible—and here’s how we can drive it forward, together, in 2022.
Keep a close eye on government policy promises
Last fall, the federal government introduced legislation on a Canada Disability Benefit. The benefit would supplement existing — and woefully inadequate — federal and provincial-territorial supports. This would make a real difference for the 2.7 million Canadians living with a severe disability. We need to see the three-year consultation process followed up with bold action. People with disabilities shouldn't have to wait any longer.
It’s also encouraging to see the federal government’s plan to modernize the Employment Insurance (EI) system by summer 2022. The program needs to be accessible to low-wage workers and provide a dignified income. These changes are urgently needed.
Advocate to make the tax system work for more Canadians
Filing taxes can be overwhelming and confusing. Yet, the tax system is an important tool to redistribute income from those who have money to those who don't.
This year, our partners across the country will promote education about tax benefits and enhance existing tax clinics. This means greater support for more people to file taxes and qualify for tax-reducing credits or refunds.
Another item on our advocacy agenda for 2022 is a new, refundable tax benefit for single working-age adults, who are three times more likely to have incomes below the poverty line.
Despite that fact, government income policy has long ignored their struggle. Keep an eye on your inbox for ways you can take action on this important initiative!
Power up community building and connection
After a few years’ hiatus due to COVID, we are hoping — with fingers crossed — to bring back our Food Summit in the fall of 2022. This two-day, movement-building summit gathers our 350+ cross-country partners together for intensive sharing and learning.
Our partners thrive when they build connections and are inspired when they see how shared values drive local change. The Summit is also an opportunity to mobilize around key policy issues, which means you’ll see the impact in neighbourhoods near you.
Welcoming new partners
Psst: we also have some top-secret news to share with you.
ICYMI: we welcomed Turnor Lake and Birch Narrows Community Food Centre into the mix in 2021. If you haven’t already read about their amazing work in Northern Saskatchewan, now’s your chance.
And, in the coming year, two inspiring organizations in Ontario and Quebec will open their doors as Community Food Centres. Picture this: edible streets and garden tool lending libraries. Stay tuned for the official announcements!