Here's What the Federal Government is Planning To Do About Poverty
The idea that your life could get to such a point where you need to rely on government assistance or the generosity of others, while humbling, is also depressing to think about.
Poverty is still a serious problem in Canada today. While government is not always the ideal solution to every problem, the federal government is taking action to do something about it.
Federal Social Development Minister Jean Yves Duclos announced this week he is introducing Bill C-87, the Reduction of Poverty Act, to take several measures on poverty reduction.
Here is the breakdown of what this bill will bring forward:
Concrete Poverty Reduction Targets
The bill proposes to entrench into legislation ambitious and concrete poverty reduction targets: 20 per cent below the level of poverty by 2020 and 50 per cent below the level of poverty by 2030.
Official Poverty Definition
For the first time in Canada's history, there will be an official measure of poverty entrench into legislation, known as 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.
A National Advisory Council on Poverty
The bill's third action would be to establish the 'National Advisory Council on Poverty' which would provide advice to the minister and include a dedicated advisor on children's issue and produce a public report each year on progress made towards the poverty reduction targets.
"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," Duclos said.
However, there is no monetary spending attached to this legislation as yet. Still, a basic framework on this issue is a start.
What do you think of Ottawa's plan to reduce poverty?