Achieving the Promise: A Forum on Solutions to End Poverty in Alberta

20 Nov, 2012, 9:00AM - 3:00PM
The forum was hosted in both Calgary and Edmonton, and broadcasted live online for audiences around the province
Organized by: 
Public Interest Alberta, the Alberta College of Social Workers, U of C Faculty of Social Work


Achieving the Promise


Thank you to all speakers, participants, and sponsors who made the forum a success.

You can see the videos of the forum on our vimeo page.

Join the Conversation on Twitter with   #endpovertyAB.







About the Forum:

On November 20, 2012, Achieving the Promise brought together people from various organizations to explore real strategies that need to be included in the social policy framework to achieve the Premier’s promise to reduce and eliminate poverty in Alberta.

The forum featured:


9:00 – 9:10 am
Welcome and Overview of the Day ‐ MCs            

  • Lori Sigurdson,  Manager of Professional Affairs, Alberta College of Social Workers
  • Jackie Sieppert, Dean, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary 

9:10 ‐ 9:15 am Message from Minister Dave Hancock, Minister of Human Services (or designate)   

9:15 – 9:45 am
Achieving the Promise – Report Launch (media conference)    

9:45 – 10:00 am - Break                     

10:00 – 10:50 am
Economic Solutions                  

  • Diana Gibson, Research Advisor, Parkland Institute  
  • Celia Lee, Researcher, Vibrant Communities Calgary       

10:50 – 12:00 pm
Municipal Solutions               

  • Joe Ceci, Coordinator, Action to End Poverty in Alberta
  • Derek Cook, Director, Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative
  • Marilyn McLean-Bourgeois, City of Edmonton

12:00 – 1:00 pm - Lunch                     

1:00 – 2:00 pm
Community Solutions                 

  • Yvonne Chiu, Multicultural Health Brokers Co‐op. View Yvonne's Slide.
  • Jen Sputek, Project Coordinator, InsideOut  Action Research Group 
  • Bernadette Iahtail , Executive Director, Creating Hope Society
  • Denise Young, Director, Community Development, Calgary SCOPE Society 

2:00 – 2:50 pm
Public Solutions                

  • Carol Henderson, President, Alberta Teachers’ Association
  • Marie Carlson, Population Health Consultant, Alberta Health Services
  • Christopher Smith, Assistant Executive Director, Muttart Foundation & Chairperson, Success by Six 

2:50 – 3:00 pm
Wrap Up and Next Steps               




*Registered Social Workers will get 5 category A credits for attending. Please contact Lori Sigurdson at the Alberta College of Social Workers with your RSW number. 

Registration fee - $30

Low-income and students - free

Due to the low registration fee, NO refunds for cancellation will be given.

Calgary Venue
Husky Oil Great Hall, Rozsa Centre
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Edmonton Venue
Wildrose Room, Lister Conference Centre
University of Alberta
87 Avenue & 117 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T6G 2H6

Sponsored by:

The Alberta College of Social Workers
Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary

Public Interest Alberta

Edmonton Social Planning Council

Parkland Institute

Vibrant Communities Calgary

Action to End Poverty in Alberta

Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative

Alberta Teachers’ Association

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees

Health Sciences Association of Alberta

United Nurses of Alberta

Edmonton Multicultural Health Brokers

Edmonton Multicultural Coalition

Women's Centre of Calgary

Bissell Centre

Alberta Quality of Life Commission

Child Well-Being Initiative of Alberta Women of the United Church of Canada


United Way of the Alberta Capital Region

Office for Social Justice, Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton


Comments (4)

Seeing the statistics that women with children have a higher poverty rate, and that there is an inequality in wages in the work place, and that women are considered the primary caregivers for the children in the home, and are undervalued for their work as mothers. What my concern is how is the government going to address this issue, even so when per say a women goes on maternity leave it seems that the women seem to have a harder time accessing their Employment Insurance benefits they pay into, and is a longer process whereas men can easily access these benefits, what changes can be implemented to make this more accessible for working mothers?

What focus will we have on long term help? We have many solutions to poverty, but what are we going to do to lift the indivduals up and truely help them succeed as healthy productive members of society? I think we need solutions but also preventative measures for our future children who are or will grow up in poverty. I feel we need to focus on this just as much as focusing on poverty. If we are to have any success with eliminating poverty we must also have success with the people who are in our society.

We would like to make the following suggestions: If social agencies and those working with poverty everyday are willing to cost out the problems as they are then cost out solutions that actually address the problem and the present the receipts to government, who can then re-deploy the money that already exists or go after all the corporate interests who benefit substantially from their use of the province's resources and citizens asking them to make up the remainder of the costs associated with actual solutions. The language needs to speak less about taxes-which sound like "take aways" to people and more about social responsibilities and contributions to that.

I just want to clarify that not all First Nations peopele on reserves have everthing paid for. Many people have to pay rent and utilities for their homes.