Press Releases

Canadians Call for Federal Government to Address Global Poverty

Released on May 22nd 2012

[OTTAWA – May 22, 2012] - Global poverty is identified by Canadians as one of the top three issues facing the world today and a large proportion of respondents believe it is a human rights obligation to act, according to a poll conducted by Vision Critical for the Inter-Council Network (ICN).

The survey shows that Canadians are more optimistic about the impact of global poverty reduction than people in the United States and Britain. While 75 per cent of Canadians believe that reducing global poverty will help to fulfill human rights obligations, only 56 per cent of Americans and 55 per cent of Britons feel the same way.

Large majorities of Canadians also think reducing global poverty will improve Canada’s international reputation (71%), reduce global conflicts (71%) and reduce global HIV and AIDS pandemics (67%).

“Donating funds is the most common way that Canadians engage in social issues. Ethical consumption, volunteering time, and talking to others about a cause are also sited by over a quarter of the respondents.” said Janice Hamilton, Executive Director of the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation.

More than half of Canadians (52%) feel the federal government is most responsible for addressing global poverty, and nearly three-quarters (72%) believe they should be supporting public awareness about global poverty issues.

While seven-in-ten Canadians (70%) are supportive of the government matching donations of private citizens for global poverty reduction work, an equally high number (72%) do not support government funding of multinational corporations for the same type of work.

“In Manitoba where our provincial government supports the work of NGOs, we were delighted to see that the majority of Manitobans surveyed were very proud and supportive of the government supporting this work.” stated Janice Hamilton, Executive Director of the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation. “The Government of Manitoba provides $1million each year for this work, and Manitobans in turn donated over $28.5 million last year to our member agencies for their international development work. It is easy to see that Manitobans care about international development issues.”

To view a presentation with all the findings from the survey (including the results of similar questions in the United States and Britain), visit or

About the Inter-Council Network (ICN)

The Inter-Council Network (ICN) is a coalition of seven provincial and regional Councils for International Cooperation. These member-based Councils represent over 400 diverse organizations from across Canada that are committed to global social justice. The ICN provides a forum in which the Councils collaborate for improved effectiveness and identify common priorities for collective action.

About Vision Critical

Vision Critical is a global research and technology firm that creates software and services solutions for over 600 clients, including one third of the world’s top 100 brands. The company has offices across North America, Europe and Australia as well as a Global Partner Program that provides other research companies and consultants with access to top-of-the-line technology. Its Sparq™ product is the most widely adopted community panel platform on the planet.

About the “Canadian Engagement on Global Poverty Issues” poll

This survey of a representative sample of 1,211 Canadian adults, conducted in March 2012, is one component of a three-year national initiative designed to explore public engagement effectiveness on global poverty issues, and to build the capacity of public engagement practitioners in Canada.

For media inquiries, please contact Janice Hamilton, Executive Director, Manitoba Council for International Cooperation at: (204) 795-2914