July 24, 2021

Towards a common definition of poverty

I am beginning my new role at Centraide of Greater Montreal. I arrive at my post with a lot of willpower and humble in front of a strong organization of its employees, volunteers and donors, in front of the social and philanthropic development expertise of my colleagues, and especially in front of the relevance of each of Centraide’s interventions. in the fight against poverty and social exclusion.

Claude pinard

Claude pinard
President and CEO, Centraide of Greater Montreal

I also come with the strength of my professional experience, of course, but also convinced of the virtues of a collaborative approach that I have had the chance to apply over the past eight years at the Mirella and Lino Saputo Foundation. This approach, advocated by Centraide of Greater Montreal for a long time, is at the heart of the great Collective Impact Project * which aims to bring together citizens, community organizations, philanthropists, government representatives, and groups around common issues and objectives of a same neighborhood. This innovative approach has been proven to achieve a lasting impact in our communities and meets my deep convictions of collective work.

This is what brought me to Centraide. This thirst to make a difference by relying on community organizations, these living forces in the neighborhoods, by meeting their aspirations and supporting them in their objectives of making a daily difference in the lives of the people they serve. Because think about it: who better to help Mr.me Boisvert and Mr. Diallo that the person who is in daily contact with Mr.me Boisvert and M. Diallo?

If I retain anything from the last year, it is the generalized mutual aid that has manifested itself in Quebec. As if, for a while, we had rediscovered a sense of community.

This has not been done smoothly and with difficulty, it goes without saying. In a crisis, our essential job is to make sure that we don’t leave anyone behind. This need must, however, be analyzed and assessed once the crisis has passed. Although the effects of the crisis are still present, the time for assessments and learning has come. We need a unifying vision of an inclusive and equitable Greater Montreal. From there, the “who does what and how” will have to be reassessed and above all discussed all together, around the same table.

My mandate is one of continuity… in renewal. I will spend the next two months meeting all the players in the Centraide family and its partners. This will be my priority for the summer. I will listen in order to fully understand the strategies in place, and I will ask questions to explore the opportunities that will allow Centraide to move closer to its vision of building an inclusive community without poverty throughout our Greater Montreal.

I want to understand what our definition of poverty and social exclusion is. When I say “our” definition, I am talking about the common definition that we could all give together, as a society concerned with the fate of people who do not have the same opportunities and who find themselves in a situation of vulnerability.

A definition that would allow us to set ourselves ambitious goals of social transformation, to adjust our focus, to measure ourselves, to accept that this raises important questions about our way of approaching collective issues. This conversation, based on collaboration and innovation, must take place with all the players at the table: citizens, community organizations, their consultation bodies and their groups, the business community, institutions, cities and communities. governments.

No organization, including Centraide of Greater Montreal, can claim to have the solution on its own. It is by pushing our collaborations further, by learning from the successes achieved in recent years and particularly the last 15 months that we will be able to build an inclusive society, which embraces its diversity and where each individual can fully realize himself. .

* Thanks to the Collective Impact Project, since the spring of 2016, 17 Montreal neighborhoods have been chosen to obtain support of $ 23 million over six years from nine major foundations.