Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy
Every Canadian deserves a real and fair chance to succeed, no matter where they live or where they come from. Opportunity for All: Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy targets a 20% reduction in poverty by 2020 and a 50% reduction in poverty by 2030, relative to 2015 levels.
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Progress to date: Canada’s lowest poverty rate in history
The 2017 Canadian Income Survey results show that the Government of Canada met its first poverty reduction target a full three years ahead of schedule. Between 2015 and 2017, the poverty rate fell by more than 20% to 9.5%, representing approximately 825,000 fewer Canadians living in poverty.
With a poverty rate of 9.5% in 2017, Canada has reached its lowest poverty rate in history. This historic low poverty rate represents an important step toward the Government of Canada’s goal to cut poverty in half by 2030.
Watch the video on reducing poverty
Government investments that support poverty reduction
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has made significant investments for children, seniors, lower-wage workers and other vulnerable Canadians. These investments are having an immediate impact on reducing poverty and are making a difference in the lives of Canadians.
More Canadians are expected to be lifted out of poverty as the impacts of these investments are realized in the years to come.
Opportunity for All builds on the Government of Canada’s significant investments in recent years, such as:
Canada Child Benefit
The Canada Child Benefit is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children and has helped lift about 300,000 children out of poverty. In July 2018, the Benefit was indexed to keep up with the cost of living.
Guaranteed Income Supplement
The increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up for single seniors provides greater income security for close to 900,000 seniors, of whom approximately 70% are women, and is lifting an estimated 57,000 vulnerable seniors out of poverty.
National Housing Strategy
Canada’s first National Housing Strategy is a 10-year, $40-billion investment that will give more Canadians a place to call home by removing 530,000 families from housing need and by reducing chronic homelessness by 50%.
Public transit infrastructure
Public transit infrastructure investments under the Investing in Canada Plan can provide better access to housing, shelters, early learning and child care, as well as to cultural, sport and recreation infrastructure.
Early learning and child care
Investments in early learning and child care to help Canadian children get the best start in life and have a fair chance to succeed. High-quality, affordable child care across the country is critical to the economic security of families.
Labour Market Transfer Agreements
Funding provided to provinces and territories through Labour Market Transfer Agreements help unemployed Canadians prepare for and return to work and provide a full range of employment programs and services ranging from skills training to career counselling and job search assistance.
Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program
The new Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program, formerly known as the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, supports over 85 Indigenous organizations that design and deliver labour market programs to increase Indigenous participation in the job market.
Canada Workers Benefit
The Canada Workers Benefit, an enhanced version of the Working Income Tax Benefit, is a refundable tax credit that is intended to supplement the earnings of low-income workers and improves work incentives for low-income Canadians while raising 74,000 Canadians out of poverty.
Mental health initiatives
Mental health initiatives funded through provincial and territorial agreements help Canadians with mental illnesses, who make up a disproportionate percentage of people living in poverty.
Visual representations of the Strategy
- Poverty reduction in Canada will remain a priority in the years to come
- Canada reaches lowest poverty rate in history
- Canada’s first poverty reduction target met three years ahead of schedule
- Government of Canada introduces legislation to take concrete action to reduce poverty in Canada
- Government of Canada launches first Poverty Reduction Strategy
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