News Release Article from  Employment and Social Development Canada

Canadians will have their say on the country's Poverty Reduction Strategy

Government of Canada launches consultations and advisory committee  

February 13, 2017                Gatineau, Québec               Employment and Social Development Canada

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, today launched two initiatives to support the development of Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy: a nation-wide consultation process and a call for nominations for a ministerial advisory committee on poverty. By opening the dialogue on how to reduce poverty, the Government of Canada reiterates its commitment to find solutions to improve the economic well-being of all Canadian families so they can have a real and fair chance to succeed.

The nation-wide consultation process will give Canadians an opportunity to have their say on reducing poverty through a Poverty Reduction Strategy engagement website, including discussion forums and online town halls. The online engagement will be complemented by roundtables with stakeholders; Indigenous organizations; businesses; community organizations; academic experts and Canadians who have experienced poverty. The Government of Canada will also work with Indigenous organizations to ensure the participation of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in the consultations. The input and feedback collected will provide valuable information which will help shape the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.

The Government also launched a call for nominations to invite interested individuals who have experience with poverty and poverty reduction to apply for the ministerial advisory committee on poverty.

The advisory committee’s work will complement these public consultations. The committee will act as a sounding board and a forum for in-depth discussion on issues related to poverty reduction. Specifically, the committee’s role will be to discuss and test ideas generated in the public consultations and provide independent expertise and advice on issues that could include:

  • identifying priority areas of action;
  • aligning federal government actions to reduce poverty with those of the provinces and territories; and
  • replicating innovative approaches to poverty reduction at the national level.

The committee will be composed of leaders, practitioners, and experts in poverty reduction from areas such as academia, service delivery and business, as well as international academics or researchers on poverty. It will also include people who have experienced poverty.

Another initiative to support the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy—the Tackling Poverty Together (TPT) research project—was announced in September 2016. Work is currently underway in Saint John, and will continue in Trois-Rivières, Regent Park (Toronto), Winnipeg, Tisdale, and Yellowknife. This analytical research project will involve case studies of six communities across Canada that are concerned about poverty issues. The project will assess the impact of federal poverty reduction programs locally in communities, based on the opinions of citizens including people with experience of poverty.

Through Budget 2016, the Government of Canada has invested in a range of initiatives to support poverty reduction including, the Canada Child Benefit and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, and increased the Old Age Security’s Guaranteed Income Supplement.

Quote

“Poverty is a complex issue that affects more than 3 million Canadians. It has many faces—children and families, seniors, Indigenous people, people with disabilities and immigrants. We need to work together with our partners, and with all Canadians, to find a solution. Every Canadian should have the chance to build a good life for themselves and their families. We need to hear from you about how we can make it happen.
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick Facts

  • In 2014, 3 million Canadians, 8.8 percent of the population, lived in poverty. This included more than half a million children.
  • Single people aged 45 to 64, single parents, recent immigrants, Indigenous people and people with disabilities are more likely to experience poverty.
  • In 2014, about 746,000 Canadians lived in families that worked but were poor.
  • In 2014, Canada’s low-income (poverty) rate for seniors was 3.9 percent.
  • In 2011, Over 655,000 Canadian households spent at least 50 percent of their income before taxes on housing. About 90 percent of these households were low-income.

Associated Links

Towards a Poverty Reduction Strategy: Discussion Paper
Consulting Canadians on poverty reduction: consultation
Advisory Committee on Poverty

 

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Emilie Gauduchon-Campbell
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
819-654-5546

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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Backgrounder


Consultations on a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy  

The Government of Canada has launched an engagement website where interested individuals and organizations can provide their input and opinions on Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. Additionally, Minister Duclos will hold discussion forums and online town halls to hear what Canadians have to say.    

The online engagement will be complemented by in-person roundtables with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, Indigenous organizations, businesses, community organizations, academic experts and Canadians who have experienced poverty.

The Government welcomes all input on the ways to reduce poverty and its impacts, including potential targets, timelines, and indicators for the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Advisory committee on poverty

The ministerial advisory committee on poverty will contribute to the development of a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy by complementing the public consultations. One of the committee’s key roles will be to act as a sounding board to help test ideas that are generated in the public consultations process.

The committee’s work will build on the consultations by providing independent advice on issues that could include

  • identifying priority areas of action;
  • aligning federal government actions to reduce poverty with those of the provinces and territories; and
  • how to replicate innovative approaches to poverty reduction at the national level.

The committee will operate for one year. Members will be representative of Canada’s diversity and will be selected from five key areas, including academia, international expertise, service delivery, business, and people who have experienced poverty. 

The committee members will be selected through a call for nominations process. Through this process, the Government of Canada invites interested individuals who have experience with poverty and poverty reduction to apply for the ministerial advisory committee on poverty. The nomination period is from February 13 to March 13, 2017.

Tackling Poverty Together

Tackling Poverty Together is a research project in six communities across Canada. It aims to assess the impact of poverty reduction programs locally in communities that have identified poverty as an issue, while learning directly from people who know first-hand what it’s like to live in poverty. The project involves gathering qualitative and quantitative information on the impact of government programs on those living in poverty, barriers to accessing the programs, and ideas to improve existing programs.

The Tackling Poverty Together project will be implemented in Saint John, New Brunswick; Trois-Rivières, Quebec; Regent Park (Toronto), Ontario; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Tisdale, Saskatchewan; and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Recent Government of Canada initiatives to support poverty reduction

When many think about poverty, the first thing that comes to mind is income. While income is essential for well-being, poverty is not only about a lack of adequate income. Being poor often goes hand-in-hand with other hardships such as poor housing, poor health, food insecurity, low employment and education outcomes, lack of access to transportation and services, and social exclusion. Poverty also impacts social mobility. The multidimensional nature of poverty means governments need to respond to both its causes and its consequences.

Accordingly, the Government of Canada has taken action on a range of issues with a view to reducing poverty in Canada. The Government has introduced the Canada Child Benefit, the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up, and the middle-class tax cut. In addition to these actions, the Government has also committed to a framework for early learning and child care, a national housing strategy, a new health accord, primary and secondary education reform on reserve, investments in social and green infrastructure, a social finance and social innovation strategy, the development of accessibility legislation and investments for women fleeing violence, to name a few.  

 


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