News: Poverty in Canada
The federal government launched Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy! After years of calling for federal leadership in addressing poverty in Canada, supporters of CPJ and the Dignity for All campaign have made this happen!
Still, the work to end poverty continues.
At budget time over the last few years, we've seen a narrowing of the federal government's focus on economic measures in a way that fails to adequately address the well-being of people, communities and the Earth. CPJ believes that Budget 2019 should prioritize measures to address poverty in Canada, remove barriers to refugee resettlement, and support a "just transition" to a decarbonized economy.
It's clear that social assistance is in need of reform. Innovative policies and targeted funding can make a difference, but all levels of government need to commit to making it happen.
The time is long overdue for Canada to eliminate poverty.
The federal government is set to launch the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy (CPRS) in the next few weeks. For anti-poverty groups awaiting the release of the country’s first national plan to address poverty, it is a momentous occasion and the result of years of tireless work. For the 4.8 million people living in poverty in Canada, it is a sign of hope a long time in the making.
We know we are called to love our neighbour, and to varying degrees we are aware of the oppression of poverty. We feel we maybe ought to do something – that someone ought to – but we are paralyzed by our sense of insignificance in the face of seemingly insurmountable issues.
There are many simple steps individuals and churches can take to live out our calling to love our neighbour not only in word, but in deed.
Young adults often get a bad rap. If they aren’t failing to launch, they are too addicted to their “likes,” unreliable, and unengaged. Besides for a few small caveats, I couldn’t disagree more.
But young adults really care, and when given the proper space, place, and some tools, they exercise incredible levels of ingenuity and creativity to raise awareness among their peers and take action in their communities.
This month, CPJ and the Dignity for All campaign released Living in the Gap: A Snapshot of Precarity in Canada. This report includes six infographics highlighting households across Canada struggling to make ends meet. These profiles represent compilations of typical people’s experiences, with numbers drawn from the actual communities in which they are situated.
The main message of the report is that if we are serious about ending poverty, we need more than piecemeal programs and siloed approaches.
The 2018 Federal Budget beefed up just two anti-poverty measures. And both remain inadequate to effectively combat poverty and precarity in Canada. The fact stands that without funding a comprehensive anti-poverty strategy with effective, evidence-based policies, millions of people living in Canada will continue to be left behind.