Poverty reduction in Canada will remain a priority in the years to come

News release

Poverty Reduction Act now entrenched into law

June 21, 2019           Ottawa, Ontario               Employment and Social Development Canada

Every Canadian deserves a real and fair chance to succeed, no matter where they live or where they come from. That is why the Government of Canada has worked hard to lift Canadians out of poverty and strengthen the economy through record investments and initiatives such as Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy.

With Bill C-97 receiving Royal Assent today, the Poverty Reduction Act is now entrenched into law, ensuring a long-term federal commitment to reduce poverty. The Act sets poverty reduction targets—a 20% reduction by 2020 and a 50% reduction by 2030, relative to 2015—and establishes the National Advisory Council on Poverty.

Canada’s Official Poverty Line, based on the Market Basket Measure, will measure poverty and track progress toward the targets. With the first target of reducing poverty by 20% by 2020 already reached—a full three years ahead of schedule—Canada is at the lowest poverty rate in its history.

To ensure accountability, the Government has legislated the National Advisory Council on Poverty, which will advise the Government of Canada on its strategy and produce a report on the Government’s progress toward meeting poverty reduction targets every year. This will help cement the Government’s commitment to poverty reduction and ensure that poverty reduction remains a priority well into the future.

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 top-up to the Guaranteed Income Supplement, there were 825,000 fewer Canadians living in poverty in 2017 than there were in 2015.


“The passing of Bill C-97 is a major milestone and sets historic targets to improve the well-being of Canadians. Through this long-term plan, the Government will ensure that Canadians can monitor the progress being made and hold this and future governments accountable to ensure they deliver on commitments to reduce poverty and improve the lives of all Canadians.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick facts

  • On August 21, 2018, the Government of Canada released Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy, in which the Government of Canada proposed to introduce the Poverty Reduction Act.

  • The targets set out in Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty.

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For media enquiries, please contact:
Valérie Glazer
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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