June 15, 2018
Oxford County releases Draft Zero Poverty Plan
Seven months after Council’s motion, the Draft Zero Poverty Plan provides a roadmap to eliminate poverty in Oxford
Seven months after a decision by County Council to work towards achieving zero poverty, Oxford County and its partners are releasing the Draft Zero Poverty Plan to the community.
Endorsed by County Council at this week’s June 13 Council meeting, the report takes action on an earlier November 22, 2017 declaration by Council to eliminate poverty through leadership, innovation, and the transformation of relationships, with an intended outcome of “improved health and well-being for all residents and enhanced community prosperity.”
The Draft Zero Poverty Plan lays out a strategically detailed plan for Oxford County to move towards the successful elimination of poverty, as opposed to simply alleviating the hardships of living in poverty. The Plan notes that good intentions and government support alone will not sustain a long-term commitment to zero poverty, and that the plan will require the cooperation and commitment of multiple stakeholders, the efforts of all levels of governments, and the citizens of Oxford County.
Emphasis in the Draft Zero Poverty Plan is on promoting transformation and stakeholder engagement in working towards zero poverty. Additionally, the draft plan promotes the integration of zero poverty strategies across sectors, for instance, in planning to address housing needs and by addressing health, mental health and addictions in the community.
The plan was developed as both a policy and reporting document modeled from the 100 RE Building Blocks plan structure. Like the Kassel Criteria before it, the 100 RE Building Blocks process is fully applicable to the development of any long-term strategic initiative, and when properly utilized can provide guidance for policy makers, governments and community champions to develop their own initiative roadmap. The goal is to create a living document that can serve as an interactive tool box for stakeholder implementation and monitoring.
Eliminating poverty in Oxford County is a long-term vision that supports the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan. County Council’s November 2017 “zero poverty” declaration followed a series of Poverty Reduction Town Hall Sessions led by Operation Sharing in September 2017. The plan’s development was guided by the Zero Poverty Oxford Action Committee, which includes representatives from Operation Sharing, Social Planning Council Oxford, United Way Oxford, Oxford County Community Health Centre, CMHA Oxford, CES Oxford, Oxford Workforce DevelopmentPartnership, Thames Valley District School Board, Legal Aid Ontario, Southwestern Public Health and more.
To support the plan’s continued development and implementation, Oxford County residents and stakeholders will be invited to participate and share feedback in various ways and stages throughout the process. Information on how to take part will be shared as it becomes available on Speak Up, Oxford!
David Mayberry, Warden, Oxford County
“In support of the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan, Oxford County has chosen to strive towards the elimination of poverty within the community. In turn, this will provide a better quality of life for our residents, who will be able to become more active members in our community and support our local economy. The goal of zero poverty is long-term and ambitious, but it’s the right thing to do.”
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About Oxford County
Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403, Oxford County has a population of approximately 114,000 people across eight area municipalities that are “growing stronger together.” As a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government, Oxford County is emerging as a leader in sustainable growth through the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and County Council’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy, becoming a zero waste community, and working towards zero poverty. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture is a key industry that serves as a springboard for some of the sustainable industries that are steadily diversifying the local economy. Oxford County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock, Ontario. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca or follow our social media sites at www.oxfordcounty.ca/social. Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at oxfordcounty.ca/strategicplan.
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