Terms of Reference for the National Advisory Council on Poverty

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Mandate

The Government of Canada's Opportunity For All - Canada's First Poverty Reduction Strategy sets an official poverty measure (Canada's Official Poverty Line), concrete poverty reduction targets and commits to establishing a National Advisory Council on Poverty (hereinafter referred to as "the Advisory Council").

The mandate of the Advisory Council is to provide independent advice to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (the Minister) on poverty reduction; to annually report on the progress achieved toward reducing the level of poverty by 20% by 2020 and by 50% by 2030, relative to the 2015 level; to continue a dialogue with Canadians on poverty; and to undertake any activity specified by the Minister.

Scope of work

In carrying out its mandate, the Advisory Council will:

  • produce an annual report for the Minister that will provide detailed information on the progress being made towards meeting the poverty reduction targets and other indicators being tracked under the Strategy, as well as advice on poverty reduction;
  • provide advice in relation to programs, funding and activities that contribute to poverty reduction;
  • undertake public engagement with various groups, including the academic community and other experts, Indigenous peoples and persons living in poverty or with lived experience of poverty; and
  • undertake any activity specified by the Minister.

Duration

The members will have a two-year mandate effective the day of their appointments by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. Appointments will be part of an open, transparent and merit-based selection process that strives for gender parity and reflects Canada’s diversity.

Membership

The Advisory Council will be representative of Canada's diversity, including gender, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities, regions and official languages.

The Advisory Council will be composed of 8 to10 members: the Chairperson who will be appointed on a full-time basis; one other full-time member with particular responsibilities for children's issues; and, 6 to 8 part-time members, including  members living in poverty or with lived experience of poverty.

Role of Chairperson

The Chairperson will lead and direct the operation of the Advisory Council. If the office of the Chairperson is vacant, the Minister may designate another member of the Advisory Council to act as Chairperson.

Frequency of Meetings

The members of the Advisory Council will determine the number of meetings or teleconferences that are necessary to fulfill their mandate. The members should be available for approximately 15 to 20 days of remunerated work per year.

Remuneration

Appointments will be made by the Minister. Members will be paid, in connection with their work for the Advisory Council, the remuneration that may be fixed by the Governor in Council, pursuant to the Department of Employment and Social Development Act. The remuneration rates for members are under review.

Compensation, travel and accommodation

Members of the Advisory Council are eligible to be reimbursed for the travel, living and other expenses incurred, in connection with their work for the Advisory Council while absent from their ordinary place of work or residence.

Secretariat

The Department of Employment and Social Development will provide the necessary support to the Advisory Council to carry out its mandate, including policy, administrative and logistical support.

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