Federal government announces ambitious plan to reduce poverty in Canada
The Trudeau government has announced its much-anticipated plan to lift millions of Canadians above the poverty line.
Within two years, the government aims to reduce the poverty rate by 20 per cent.
The target is a 50 per cent reduction in poverty by 2030.
Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos acknowledges that the 2030 goal is ambitious, but he believes it’s realistic if future governments follow the course the Liberals are charting.
Ottawa plans to lift Canadians above the poverty line using three key strategies — ensuring basic needs are met, ensuring equal opportunity through, and making sure the middle class doesn’t fall below the line.
But it’s a strategy with no new investment. Instead, the government points to existing programs.
And the nation now has an official measure of poverty — the market basket measure or MBM.
It is a calculation of basic goods and services for standard living.
In British Columbia, the average MBM threshold for a family of four is just under $38,000 a year, according to Statistics Canada, using 2015 as the base year.
The government says it’s using MBM over Low-Income Measure (LIM) because through consultations with 600 Canadians and academics, the MBM was preferred.
Ottawa will introduce legislation later this year to meet target goals.
— With files from The Canadian Press
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