Liberals table bill to set national poverty line as part of reduction strategy
OTTAWA—NEW legislation tabled in Parliament Tuesday will set Canada’s first official poverty line, a key benchmark to track whether billions of dollars in federal spending actually reduces the number of low-income Canadians who struggle to make ends meet.
Bill C-87, if passed, would make the existing “market basket measure” — a Statistics Canada indicator of the cost of living that varies by region — the official poverty line.
Using this measure, the bill would set poverty reduction targets the government “aspires” to meet: 20 per cent below 2015 levels by 2020, and 50 per cent below 2015 levels by 2030.
“Our vision for Canada is to become a world leader in the eradication of poverty,” Families, Children and Social Development Minister Jeanyves Duclos said while announcing the new bill at an Ottawa community kitchen Tuesday.
Brigitte Sansoucy, a New Democrat MP from Quebec, said the Liberals have basically reproduced the major aspects of her private member’s bill with the same name, which was voted down by the government in 2016.
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