Gov­ern­ment of Canada in­tro­duces leg­is­la­tion to take con­crete ac­tion to re­duce poverty in Canada

Asian Journal - - WORLD -

Ot­tawa: In a coun­try as pros­per­ous as Canada, all Cana­di­ans should have a real and fair chance to suc­ceed. The Gov­ern­ment of Canada is fo­cused on growth that ben­e­fits all Cana­di­ans and on in­vest­ments that help grow the mid­dle class and re­duce poverty. When peo­ple are able to meet their most ba­sic needs and can achieve a mod­est stan­dard of liv­ing in their com­mu­ni­ties, they also con­trib­ute to a strong, grow­ing econ­omy.

To­day, the Hon­ourable Jean-yves Duc­los, Min­is­ter of Fam­i­lies, Chil­dren and So­cial De­vel­op­ment, tabled leg­is­la­tion as part of Op­por­tu­nity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Re­duc­tion Strat­egy which was launched in Au­gust.

The Bill pro­poses to en­trench into leg­is­la­tion am­bi­tious and con­crete poverty re­duc­tion tar­gets; a 20 % re­duc­tion in poverty by 2020 and a 50 % re­duc­tion in poverty by 2030, rel­a­tive to 2015 lev­els. Th­ese tar­gets will lead to the low­est poverty rate in Canada’s his­tory.

Also for the first time in Canada’s his­tory, the Bill pro­poses to en­trench into leg­is­la­tion an of­fi­cial mea­sure of poverty: Canada’s Of­fi­cial Poverty Line. Formerly known as the Mar­ket Bas­ket Mea­sure, Canada’s Of­fi­cial Poverty Line would be based on the cost of a bas­ket of goods and ser­vices that in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies re­quire to meet their ba­sic needs and achieve a mod­est stan­dard of liv­ing in com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try. Fi­nally, the Bill pro­poses to en­trench into leg­is­la­tion an arms-length Na­tional Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on Poverty which would pro­vide ad­vice to the Min­is­ter of Fam­i­lies, Chil­dren, and So­cial De­vel­op­ment and in­clude a ded­i­cated ad­vi­sor on chil­dren’s is­sue, con­tinue a na­tional di­a­logue with Cana­di­ans, and pro­duce a pub­lic re­port each year on progress made to­wards the poverty re­duc­tion tar­gets.

The Gov­ern­ment of Canada has worked hard to lift Cana­di­ans out of poverty and strengthen the econ­omy through record in­vest­ments to­talling $22 bil­lion since 2015 to help grow the mid­dle class and the peo­ple work­ing hard to join it. With the help of pro­grams such as the Canada Child Ben­e­fit, the top up to the Guar­an­teed In­come Sup­ple­ment and the Canada Work­ers Ben­e­fit, Gov­ern­ment in­vest­ments are ex­pected to help lift 650,000 Cana­di­ans out of poverty by 2019.

Jean-yves Duc­los, Min­is­ter of Fam­i­lies, Chil­dren and So­cial De­vel­op­ment said: “Op­por­tu­nity for All - Canada’s First Poverty Re­duc­tion Strat­egy aims to cut poverty in Canada in half. By tabling leg­is­la­tion with real and mea­sur­able poverty re­duc­tion tar­gets, Canada’s Of­fi­cial Poverty Line, and a Na­tional Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on Poverty we are tak­ing con­crete ac­tion to re­duce poverty in Canada. Our gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to mak­ing sure that, wher­ever you live or wher­ever you come from, you have a real and fair chance at suc­cess.”

Quick facts:

• On Au­gust 21, 2018, the Gov­ern­ment of Canada re­leased Op­por­tu­nity for All -Canada’s First Poverty Re­duc­tion Strat­egy.

• Op­por­tu­nity for All of­fers a bold vi­sion for Canada as a world leader in the erad­i­ca­tion of poverty, with progress val­i­dated in terms of its align­ment with the United Na­tions Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goal of end­ing poverty.

• In 2015, there were 4.2 mil­lion Cana­di­ans liv­ing in poverty, or 12.1 per­cent. By 2016, this num­ber dropped to 3.7 mil­lion Cana­di­ans, or 10.6 per­cent - a de­crease of half a mil­lion peo­ple.

• The What we heard about poverty so far re­port, a sum­mary of the feed­back gath­ered dur­ing the en­gage­ment process that took place with Cana­di­ans, in­clud­ing peo­ple with lived ex­pe­ri­ence of poverty, com­mu­nityand na­tional-level or­ga­ni­za­tions, Indige­nous part­ners as well as provinces and ter­ri­to­ries, was re­leased on Fe­bru­ary 20, 2018.

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