Masters introduces Regina anti-poverty strategy in mayoral platform

Regina mayoral candidate Sandra Masters plans to introduce an anti-poverty strategy if she becomes the city’s next mayor.

Masters announced her first pillar in her campaign platform on Friday to help Regina’s most vulnerable with the goal of established the strategy within the first year of being mayor.

For Masters, it’s key to address poverty in the city in order to tackle other issues in the community whether it’s crime, domestic violence, addiction or education rates. Her strategy would build on previous consultations, re-engage members of the public and support agencies, community organizations and academics.

The strategy will also consider will work to deliver community support services and programs, coordinate between agencies and levels of government and set achievable targets and measures to support accountability.

She said consultations have already taken place in the city, but a strategy has not been developed.

“We have individuals and organizations who are already doing this day in and day out. They are the experts in it and so are the people who are currently experiencing poverty,” stated Masters. “Conversations need to happen with them to come up with the target we’d like to achieve and what they need.”

Masters shared the cost of poverty in Regina is estimated at $760 million from heightened service use and missed contributions to GDP, taxes and other opportunities. She said it’s a way to not deal with the budget years down the road if the city doesn’t find a solution.

As a mother of four who went through a divorce, she said it hurts to see Regina has one of the highest child poverty rates in Canada.

“We need to raise our collective voice as a community to create a safer Regina for all its residents.”

According to poverty statistics, 20.1 per cent of Regina’s children under five years of age live in low-income households.

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