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. On August 21, 2018, the Government of Canada released, Opportunity for All: Canada's First Poverty Reduction Strategy,which targets a 20% reduction in poverty by 2020 and a 50% reduction in poverty by 2030, relative to 2015 levels.

Visual representations of the Strategy

Progress to date

Canada's lowest poverty rate in history

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%. By achieving this target, Canada is at the lowest poverty rate in its history.

The Government of Canada remains committed to reducing poverty by 50% by 2030. With the help of programs such as the Canada Child Benefit and the increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up, there were 825,000 fewer Canadians living in poverty in 2017 than there were in 2015.

  • To date, the Canada Child Benefit has helped almost 300,000 children to exit poverty between 2015 and 2017
  • The increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up has helped to reduce the number of single seniors living in poverty by 52,000 between 2015 and 2017

Measuring progress: Poverty indicators

The Strategy outlined the Government of Canada's plan to strengthen poverty measurement, identify gaps and gather data to guide its journey to 2030.

The Dimensions of Poverty Hub features Canada's official poverty dashboard which includes several indicators to help track progress on many aspects of poverty from different measures of low income, to Canadians in housing need, to the differences in earnings and life outcomes between low-income Canadians and those in the middle class.

National Advisory Council on Poverty

A key component of the Strategy was to establish a National Advisory Council on Poverty. The newly created Council brings together a diverse group of 10 members who will advise on the Strategy and produce a report on the progress toward meeting poverty reduction targets every year.

Key accomplishments over the last year are available in the new report: Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (An Update).

Government investments that support poverty reduction

Since 2015, the Government of Canada has made significant investments in 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 benefit that provides support to low- to middle-income families to help with the cost of raising children.

Canada Workers Benefit

The Canada Workers Benefit, an enhanced version of the Working Income Tax Benefit, is a refundable tax credit that helps supplement the earnings of low-income workers.

Increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement Top-up Benefit

The increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up is helping to improve the financial security of close to 900,000 vulnerable seniors.

National Housing Strategy

Canada's first National Housing Strategy is a 10-year, $55+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home by removing 530,000 families from housing need.

For the complete list of investments that support poverty reduction, please consult Annex 2: List of government initiatives that support poverty reduction.

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Reducing Poverty, Canadian Income Survey 2019 (Transcript)

The Government of Canada has taken important steps to reduce poverty and help Canadians who need it most.

With the help of investments in programs like the Canada Child Benefit and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, we have reached our first poverty reduction target a full three years ahead of schedule. However, we know there is still more work to do.

Data released in the 2017 Canadian Income Survey reveals that between 2015 and 2017, the poverty rate fell by more than 20 percent—that means roughly 825,000 fewer Canadians living below the poverty line in the last two years.

Canadians’ Median After-Tax Income (Transcript)

$57,900, in 2014;
$57,700, in 2015;
$57,900, in 2016; and
$59,800, in 2017.

$59,800 is the highest after-tax median income in Canadian history

For more information on our efforts to reduce poverty, visit Canada.ca/reduce-poverty

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Opportunity For All – Canada's First Poverty Reduction Strategy: An explainer video (Transcript)

Every Canadian deserves a real and fair chance to succeed, no matter where they live or where they come from.

Since 2015, more than $22 billion dollars has been invested in initiatives that reduce poverty to help grow the middle class and help those who are working hard to join it.

Investments made are expected to help lift 650,000 Canadians out of poverty by 2019.

Enhancements to Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement provide greater income security for low-income seniors.

The National Housing Strategy gives more Canadians a safe and affordable place to call home.

Programs like these have a real and meaningful impact on those working hard to make ends meet.

After extensively consulting with Canadians, the Government of Canada is launching the first ever Poverty Reduction Strategy.

For the first time ever, an official measure of poverty, Canada's Official Poverty Line and improvement to poverty measurement will be used to measure progress toward the new targets on poverty reduction.

An independent National Advisory Council on Poverty will be established to publically report on progress made towards these targets and continue dialogue with Canadians on poverty.

To cement the commitment to reducing poverty, the Government proposes to introduce a new Poverty Reduction Act in Parliament.

Opportunity for All is a bold vision that will build a Canada where every Canadian has a real and fair chance at success.

To find out more, visit Canada.ca/reduce-poverty

Together let's #ReducePoverty

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