20 years of research in the public interest: CCPA Manitoba

This year the Manitoba office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives celebrates 20 years of independent research, analysis and expertise. From last year’s talk by Naomi Klein to this year’s address by black freedom movement icon Angela Davis, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) Manitoba is at the forefront of progressive thought in our province.

20 years of CCPA Manitoba research and commentary is due to the dedicated support of individuals, organizations and unions. If you are a supporter, thank you. If you are not – please consider donating today to keep progressive ideas on the public policy agenda. WE NEED YOU! Big right wing think tanks are active in Manitoba – we struggle for space in the media against them all the time. Thanks to your support we can make sure we’re at every key policy discussion and decision, such as presenting on the regressive Bill 33, which entrenches minimum wage as a poverty wage; read our presentations and commentary.

The following is a sampling of what we’ve been able to accomplish thanks to the support of Manitobans concerned about evidence-based public policy to advance social, economic and environmental justice.

The State of the Inner City report this year had two parts – Reconciliation Lives Here documents the amazing work by community based organizations and grassroots organizers to advance Truth and Reconciliation. Finding Her Home: a gender-based analysis of homelessness in Winnipeg shines a light on women’s experiences of homelessness and is informing a new strategy to address women’s homelessness.

While it is important to document areas of community need and policy options to address these needs, at a macro scale public funding is required to address these concerns. For example The Right to Housing Coalition demonstrates that public investment is required to build and sustain needed social housing and end homelessness and housing insecurity. This piece is a great example of CCPA Manitoba publishing commentary from citizen-led groups in Manitoba.

CCPA Manitoba does rapid response commentary to point out that governments matter – public policy can reduce inequities or make them worse. Please read the Errol Black Chair in Labour Issues, Lynne Fernandez’s piece the problems with the province’s new Public Private Partnership (P3) plan for schools.

Our office is a hub of progressive commentary on issues of the day in Manitoba.

As the director I have the honour of supporting community on issues that matter. For example, on April 3rd Justice Minister Stefanson tabled changes to the Elections Act requiring photo identification. Upon learning of this, our office to connected with Winnipeg Indigenous Rock the Vote (WIRV) and collaborated on a Winnipeg Free Press op ed highlighting the limitations to voter participation that would result with unnecessary restrictive identification requirements. We continue to ally with WIRV on this issue.

As a member of the Make Poverty History Manitoba Steering Committee I’ve been pleased to continue to support the community based “View from Here: Manitobans Call for a Renewed Poverty Reduction Plan” report published by our office. This report is taken up by community activists in the struggle to end poverty and the deficit it leaves in our community. A community-based plan for the City of Winnipeg is under development on how municipal tools can alleviate poverty: watch for this in the fall.

We have been busy with 17 reports, 43 commentary pieces published at www.policyalternatives.ca/offices/manitoba in the past year. 30 of these were published in the Winnipeg Free Press and/or on CBC online.

We’re making a dent in the mainstream by providing rapid response commentary in the media whenever possible in order to get progressive ideas, and the evidence backing them, to citizens and decision-makers.

As a small but mighty office with two full-time and two part-time staff, our work is augmented by 35 Research Associates, and progressive academic and community researchers who publish and comment with our office.

THANK YOU for your support. We need it now more than ever.

Believe in CCPA Manitoba and want to help us continue to make a difference and shift the dial in our province? Please donate today.

We need your support and your help to encourage others to also ensure progressive research and analysis is available in Manitoba – for our community and future generations.

Molly McCracken is the director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Manitoba office