Canadians Call for Federal Government to Address Global Poverty

Respondents feel reducing global poverty will have an impact on human rights obligations and boost our international reputation.

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%).

"Canadians feel that there are benefits to addressing global poverty," said Jennifer Sloot, representative for the ICN. "Canadians want to be engaged and informed and they want their government to invest in public engagement and support the work of NonGovernment Organizations and private citizens".

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.

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

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 Jennifer Sloot,
ICN representative at: 902.441.8272