Canada is a prosperous country, yet in 2015 roughly 1 in 8 Canadians lived in poverty. The vision of Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy is a Canada without poverty, because we all suffer when our fellow citizens are left behind. We are all in this together, from governments, to community organizations, to the private sector, to all Canadians who are working hard each and every day to provide for themselves and their families.
Overall, Opportunity for All brings together new investments of $22 billion that the Government has made since 2015 to support the social and economic well-being of all Canadians. These actions will help lift about 650,000 Canadians out of poverty by 2019, with more expected as the impacts of these investments are realized in the years to come.
Opportunity for All also sets the foundation for future government investments in poverty reduction. It is based on three pillars to focus Government actions to reduce poverty:
Dignity: Lifting Canadians out of poverty by ensuring basic needs—, such as safe and affordable housing, healthy food, and health care, are met;
Opportunity and Inclusion: Helping Canadians join the middle class by promoting full participation in society and equality of opportunity; and
Resilience and Security: Supporting the middle class by protecting Canadians from falling into poverty and by supporting income security and resilience.
For the first time in Canada’s history, the Strategy sets an official measure of income poverty: Canada’s Official Poverty Line, 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.
Opportunity for All sets, for the first time, ambitious and concrete poverty reduction targets: a 20 % reduction in poverty by 2020 and a 50 % reduction in poverty by 2030, which, relative to 2015 levels, will lead to the lowest poverty rate in Canada’s history.
A National Advisory Council on Poverty will advise the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on poverty reduction and will publicly report, in each year, on the progress that has been made toward poverty reduction.
The Government also proposes to introduce the first Poverty Reduction Act in Parliament in Canada’s history. This Act would entrench the targets, Canada’s Official Poverty Line, and the Advisory Council into legislation.
Table of Contents
Foreword from Miles Corak, Economist-In-Residence at Employment and Social Development Canada
Chapter 1: Opportunity for All
Chapter 2: Taking Stock of Accomplishments
Chapter 3: Dignity
Chapter 4: Opportunity and Inclusion
Chapter 5: Resilience and Security
Chapter 6: Working with Provinces, Territories and Communities
Chapter 7: Working with Indigenous Peoples
Chapter 8: Ensuring a Lasting Impact
Chapter 9: Improving Measurement of Poverty
Chapter 10: Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+)
Chapter 11: Going Forward: Canada in 2030
Annex 1: The Statistical Fine Print
Annex 2: List of Government Initiatives that Support Poverty Reduction