CLOSED: This discussion has concluded
As seen in the ministerial mandate letters (November 2015), the Speech from the Throne (December 2015) and Budget 2016 (March 2016), the Government of Canada has already announced several initiatives that will help reduce poverty in Canada.
More information on recent and planned Government of Canada initiatives to support poverty reduction is available in Annex A of the discussion guide.
Poverty is complex. It impacts individuals in different ways and to different degrees. For some, poverty is temporary and associated with a short-term life event such as a job loss. For others, it can last a long time due to the multiple barriers they face. In some cases, it can be so pervasive that it is generational—passed from parents to children.
The multidimensional nature of poverty means governments need to respond to both its causes and its consequences by taking action to address the various challenges that Canadians experience when living in poverty—especially in regard to income, housing, employment and health, among others.
information on the multiple dimensions of poverty is available in chapter 2 of the discussion guide.
The Government of Canada recognizes that accountability matters in its commitment to reduce poverty in Canada. To meet this commitment, it will be important to build partnerships, establish clear targets, report on progress and identify what is successful and what is not.
While poverty reduction target could be chosen using one of Statistics Canada’s existing low-income measures, Canada could explore improving the existing measures to make them more accurate or introduce a completely new measure.
More information on delivering and reporting on results is available in chapter 3 of the discussion guide.
One challenge in determining a target for the Poverty Reduction Strategy is that Canada does not have an “official definition” of poverty or a consistent way to measure it. In fact, many countries do not. It is difficult to define poverty as it is such a personal experience. For one person, it may be a lack of income, while another may experience poverty because they face barriers to their inclusion in society.