Canadians will have their say on the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy

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Canadians will have their say on the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, Rhonda Massad, West Island Blog, West Island News, Canada

Canadians are encouraged to participate in a nation-wide consultation process to support the development of Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. By opening the conversation on how to reduce poverty, the Government of Canada reiterates its commitment to finding solutions to improve the economic well-being of all Canadian families so they can have a real and fair chance to succeed.

The nation-wide consultation process gives Canadians an opportunity to have their say on reducing poverty through a Poverty Reduction Strategy engagement website, including discussion forums and online town halls. The site will be complemented by roundtables with stakeholders, Indigenous organizations, businesses, community organizations, academic experts and Canadians who have experienced poverty. The input and feedback collected will provide valuable information which will help shape the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.

“Poverty is a complex issue that affects more than 3 million Canadians. It has many faces—children and families, seniors, Indigenous people, people with disabilities and immigrants. We need to work together with our partners, and with all Canadians, to find a solution. Every Canadian should have the chance to build a good life for themselves and their families. We need to hear from you about how we can make it happen.” says Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

The Government launched a public call for nominations to invite interested individuals who have experience with poverty and poverty reduction to apply for the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Poverty. The call for nominations closed on March 27, 2017.

The Advisory Committee’s work will complement these public consultations. The Committee will act as a sounding board and a forum for in-depth discussion on issues related to poverty reduction. Specifically, the Committee’s role will be to discuss and test ideas generated in the public consultations. They will also provide independent expertise and advice on issues such as identifying priority areas of action, aligning federal government efforts to reduce poverty with those of the provinces and territories, and replicating innovative approaches to poverty reduction on a national level.

The Committee will be composed of leaders, practitioners, and experts in poverty alleviation from areas such as academia, service delivery, and business, as well as international academics or researchers on poverty. It will also include people who have experienced poverty.

Another initiative to support the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy—the Tackling Poverty Together (TPT) research project—was announced in September 2016. Work is currently underway and will gather information from communities in Saint John, Trois-Rivières, Regent Park (Toronto), Winnipeg, Tisdale, and Yellowknife. This analytical research project will involve case studies of six communities across Canada that are concerned about poverty issues. The project will assess the impact of federal poverty reduction programs locally in communities, based on the opinions of citizens including people with experience with poverty.

The Government of Canada is committed to reducing poverty and improving the economic well-being of all Canadian families. Through Budget 2016, the Government has invested in a range of initiatives to support poverty reduction, including the Canada Child Benefit and increasing the Old Age Security’s Guaranteed Income Supplement. Through Budget 2017, the Government proposes to make further investments to help low-income families, including investments in affordable housing, Homelessness Partnering Strategy, skills development and early learning and child care.

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