Economic statement a step in the right direction on poverty

Fiscal update suggests the human and economic potential of a comprehensive, fully-funded National Anti-Poverty Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ottawa, ON: October 24, 2017 — The Liberal government’s Fall Economic Statement made a strong case for the potential of strategic investments to reduce poverty among seniors and low-income families with children. Targeted spending on the Canada Child Benefit, for example, was reported to have lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty, and adjustments to the eligibility and funding of Employment Insurance and various income supports for seniors were held up as lifelines for those “working hard to join the middle class”.

Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) acknowledges that these allocations carry great promise for the 17.4% of Canadian children living in poverty and thousands of working poor in Canada, who despite a minimum of 910 hours of work annually (approximately 20 hours a week) still fall below the poverty line. They offer evidence of the economic prudence in strategic investments to combat the appalling rates of poverty in Canada. But given this apparent success, CPJ asks, why stop there?

“While we are encouraged by the steps being taken by this government to invest in children, working families, and seniors, Canada must not stop short of implementing a comprehensive, rights-based National Anti-Poverty Plan to be funded in Budget 2018” says Natalie Appleyard, Policy Analyst with Citizens for Public Justice. “The government must push beyond a great PR campaign and address in earnest the specific needs and constraints of people with disabilities, of single parents in need of childcare, of newcomers to Canada; we are calling for a plan that honours the dignity of each individual and that prioritizes the eradication of poverty in Canada.”

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For more information, contact Natalie Appleyard at natalie@cpj.ca or 613-232-0275 x. 222.