Telelearning Session 15: Poverty Reduction

  1. What are some public policy trends and instruments supporting poverty reduction in Canada?
  2. What are some community-based approaches to poverty reduction in Canada?

These questions were answered in an informative telelearning session held on October 21, 2009.

Jean Marc Fontan, Professor at UQÀM/Co-director of the Social Economy Community-University Research Alliance in Quebec spoke about his perspectives on poverty reduction in Québec; and Shauna McKinnon, Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy spoke of her experiences in Manitoba. Jessica Notwell, Manager of the Women's Economic Council moderated the call.

PODCAST: Due to technical difficulties only half of the session is available for downloading. We apologize for the inconvenience. Click here for the podcast.


Jean-Marc Fontan is a professor of sociology at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). He has over twenty-years experience in research on local and community development and has an important number of publications in this field. His research projects are funded by the SSHR of Canada and others public and private institutions. His research interests lie in the field of economic sociology, development studies in metropolitan context, local governance, social innovation, poverty and are generally done in partnership with community actors. He is Co-Director with Nancy Neamtan, PDG of the Chantier de l’économie sociale du Québec, of two important community-based research organizations dedicated to social economy: Community-University Research Alliance on Social Economy and Regroupement québécois pour la recherche partenariale en économie sociale (ARUC-RQRP-ÉS : He is member of the Centre de recherche sur les innovations sociales (CRISES, and co-founder of the Collectif d’étude sur les pratiques solidaires (CEPS / who set up a new model of linking universities with communities : l’Incubateur universitaire Parole d’excluEs (IUPE : L’incubateur universitaire Parole d’excluEs is associated to the Service aux collectivités of the Université du Québec à Montréal (
Shauna MacKinnon is the Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), Manitoba office.  In 2009, CCPA Manitoba, in collaboration with Make Poverty History Manitoba, released The View From Here:  Manitobans call for a poverty reduction plan.  More than 70 community-based organizations have endorsed The View From Here and several groups are actively advocating for the Province of Manitoba to adopt the timelines and targets laid out in the plan.

Before joining CCPA in 2005, Shauna was employed as a project manager for the Manitoba government’s Community and Economic Development Committee of Cabinet where she coordinated the development of Manitoba’s CED policy framework.  A social worker by training, with a specialization in social policy and community development, Shauna has worked across the Province including in several Manitoba First Nation communities, in the North and in Winnipeg’s inner city.  In addition to her current role at CCPA, Shauna is completing a PhD in interdisciplinary studies at the University of Manitoba with a focus on labour market policy and Aboriginal second chance learners.
Jessica Notwell is Manager of the Women’s Economic Council, and has years of experience with the YWCA. She currently serves as a Vice-President of the World Board. In addition to her volunteer work at the Board level, she has given her time as a member of many committees, including the National Governance Committee, where she worked on the World Council resolution to lobby for an autonomous, multi-lateral women's agency of the UN. Notwell has been the Board liaison and co-chair of the International Cooperation Committee, Board liaison of the Integrating Committee, an overseer and supporter of the Peer Support System, where she coordinates National Board understanding of the history and future of collaborative work within the membership.


From Jean-Marc Fontan

  1. Synthèse du plan d’action gouvernmental en matière de lutte contre la pauvreté et l’exclusion sociale. (French only)
  2. Income Inequality and Redistribution Canada: 1976-4004.

From Shauna McKinnon
The following can be found on: www.policyalternatives:

  1. Poverty and Social Exclusion: Solving Complex Issues Through Comprehensive Approaches, CCPA Review September 2009
  2. The view from here:  Manitobans call for a poverty reduction plan
  3. The view from here: Research for communities (summary document of above)
  4. Manitoba’s poverty reduction plan:  All Aboard — Destination un known.  CCPA Fast Facts June 22, 2009


  2. Fact Sheets: Women's Poverty in the Recession

  3. Now, more than ever, Canadians count on Premiers' leadership to reduce poverty

  4. Study shows growing gap between the richest and poorest families: 2003-2006

  5. This article is about the prosperity gap in Canada (2007)