Launch of Centraide Campaign 2021

September 29, 2021 •  By Cristina Roque
Carte du Grand Montréal avec photos de personnes aidées

Poverty can impact anyone

Centraide, the largest non-governmental investor of the social and community sector, is launching its annual fundraising campaign today. Until the end of December 2021, the general public and employers and employees are invited to join this movement to collect donations which will help improve the living conditions of our community’s most vulnerable.

Every year, Centraides across every region of Quebec support approximately 1,500 agencies and community projects that depend on this major campaign to meet the needs of people who are experiencing situations of poverty or vulnerability. Many have had to operate in much more difficult circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These community-based agencies, which often do not enjoy the same visibility as major causes, offer tailored services in each region.

As a community builder, Centraide has unique social expertise and plays a role in rallying people together for their community. From the start of the pandemic, Centraide has mobilized resources and partnerships to ensure that people can access essential community services. However, nearly 1.2 million people in Quebec are still living in poverty. Every donation collected will continue to be soundly invested where needs are greatest and according to each community’s issues and challenges. Much remains to be done, and we need everyone’s support to keep responding to these urgent needs, said Claude Pinard, President and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal.

Many underestimate the number of people living in poverty

The Centraide campaign is also an opportunity to raise public awareness about the importance of reducing inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic and relaunching the economy in a fair and inclusive way. According to a recent Léger survey, respondents underestimated the number of people living below the poverty line in Quebec. However, three out of four respondents do believe that the problem of poverty in Quebec had worsened since the start of the pandemic.

The health crisis has shone a light on social problems that are often hidden. Donor support in the coming months will therefore be crucial. Supporting Centraide means giving ourselves the chance to bring about lasting social change, to build stronger and more prosperous and fair communities through things like access to food, housing and academic success, for everyone, every day of the year, stated Maria Della Posta, President, Pratt & Whitney Canada, and Darryl White, CEO, BMO Financial Group, Co-Chairs of Centraide’s 2021 campaign.

Survey highlights

  • More than one in five respondents said they had fallen into a situation of poverty or vulnerability due to the pandemic. This number goes up to one in three for people ages 18 to 34.
  • Many Quebecers underestimated the incidence of poverty in Quebec: 37% of respondents to the recent Léger survey thought that fewer than 500,000 people live in a situation of poverty. The reality is quite different.  There are indeed many more low-income individuals living in Quebec than the number estimated by the respondents (800,000 according to the Market Basket Measure and 1.2 million according to the Low Income Measure).
  • More than 70% of respondents to the recent Léger survey thought that the situation of poverty in Quebec has deteriorated and that inequalities between the rich and poor have increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Over 75% of respondents were in fact aware that poverty can impact anyone.
  • The survey respondents also thought that the best action to address poverty would be to implement affordable housing programs (60%), followed by increasing the minimum wage (50%), reviewing tax brackets (49%), and making the fight against poverty a true social project (46%).

*French version only

Commissioned by the Centraides of Quebec, this Léger survey was conducted on 1,005 respondents from August 13 to August 15 2021 inclusively. The maximum margin of error for the survey is 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

About Centraide

In Quebec, 11 Centraides raise and invest money in their territories to act effectively on poverty and social exclusion. They support approximately 1,500 community agencies and projects that help and bring comfort to over one million vulnerable people in the province. Quebec’s Centraides are also members of United Way Centraide Canada, which includes 77 Centraides and United Ways across the country.

About Centraide of Greater Montreal

Centraide of Greater Montreal is active in the territories of Laval, Montreal and the South Shore. Every year, It supports a network of 350 agencies and collective projects on a regular basis. Centraide is supported by businesses, private, public and parapublic institutions as well as large trade union organizations. The money raised is invested locally to break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion.