Exploring Poverty Reduction Game Changers with VC Canada Members: Income and Employment

Submitted by Tamarack on October 17, 2016 - 8:09am
#1 in the VC Game Changer Series

We Are Looking for Your Ideas 

Help make this innovative approach work! Ideas and suggestions from Cities Reducing Poverty members and broader learners of the Vibrant Communities Canada network are critical to developing a solid foundation in which to identify key levers that have large impacts on poverty reduction. 

Once you have read about the framework and reviewed some of the Game Changers we have drafted, participate in the process by filling in the short survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZYSR2RP.

Defining a 'Game Changer'

The poverty reduction Game Changer series highlights eight priority areas and strategies, as identified by Vibrant Communities Canada and our Cities Reducing Poverty members, that elicit an array of positive, significant, and cascading outcomes towards reducing poverty.


#1 in the Game Changer Series: Income and Employment

This Game Changer encompasses Income security through employment and non-employment sources, and readiness for, access to, and retention of secure, livable wage jobs, where employer policies support employees’ needs. 

Economic security remains the primary factor in ensuring that individuals and families are able to meet basic needs and build assets. It secures one’s capacity to afford necessities, including housing, food, transportation and childcare. Self-sufficiency through secure employment income is tied to the availability and accessibility of quality work, supports to access employment, job security, positive working conditions, and reliability of hours. Access to non-employment income, including social assistance, employment insurance, and disability supports, is essential for those who are not tied, either temporarily or permanently, to the job market, including people living with disabilities or medical conditions, seniors, and mothers of very young children. Increased workforce participation supports productivity, stimulates economic activity, and decreases costs spent on social programs. 

Recommendations for Best Practices and Policies



  • Ontario Works – Provides emergency, financial, and employment assistance for those in financial need. 


  • Ottawa Social Assistance Services – Provides temporary employment and financial benefits and services, including basic financial assistance for shelter and basic needs, employment assistance, and supports to complete high school, overcome barriers, obtain work experience, and gain and retain employment. 


  • Workers’ Action Centre – Worker-based organization in Ontario that advocates for fair employment and improved working conditions for people in low-wage and unstable employment.


Share this Game Changer with your network by downloading it as a PDF here.

Learn More

  • Access Mark Holmgren's presentation slides on the Game Changer Approach to Poverty Reduction
  • Find an Overview of the eight game-changing best practices and policies we are exploring in the poverty reduction network
game_changer_-_income_and_employment.pdf516.37 KB