Policy Statements: Poverty in Canada

CPJ advocates for a holistic, rights-based suite of federal policy recommendations to alleviate and eradicate poverty in Canada. Our policies are developed in consultation and collaboration with a variety of partners, including those with lived experience of poverty and other forms of expertise in poverty-related issues and human rights.
  • Targets & Accountability: CPJ calls on the federal government to fulfill their legal obligation to protect people’s rights to an adequate standard of living and end poverty in Canada by 2030. This requires specific targets for communities experiencing systemic oppression; the collection of disaggregated data and meaningful consultation to understand the impact of federal policies on poverty and inequity in Canada; and the prioritization of funding towards measures that increase well-being and reduce poverty.
  • Housing & Homelessness: CPJ calls for increased investments and regulatory changes to make the right to housing a reality for all. This includes the creation of adequately resourced, distinctions-based strategies for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in both rural and urban communities.
  • Healthcare: CPJ supports the creation of a single-payer, universally accessible, publicly-funded pharmacare program. We further support the inclusion of dental care and mental health supports in the public system. CPJ calls for equitable access to all health services (including measures outlined in the Spirit Bear plan).
  • Income Security: CPJ supports the creation of a basic income guarantee, supplemented with targeted benefits to address specific communities. Current income assistance programs in every province and territory are inadequate and leave too many people falling through the cracks.
  • Food Security: CPJ recognizes hunger as a symptom of a much larger problem: poverty. In addition to supporting the creation of a School Food Program for Canada and the development of more sustainable food systems, CPJ recognizes the right to food and the right to Indigenous food sovereignty. Our solutions focus on addressing low income and the right to food.
  • Jobs & Employment: CPJ calls on the federal government to set national standards to a living wage and ensure workers have access to job securities including occupational benefits, labour standard protections, and opportunities for post-secondary education and training. We have further joined the call for full and permanent immigrant status for all migrants, refugees, students, and undocumented people to ensure their fair treatment and compensation.
  • Early Childhood Education & Care: CPJ supports the creation of a high quality, universal, publicly funded program of early education and care. Canada’s childcare strategy must be developed in partnership with the provinces/territories and Indigenous governments and communities, so that all children and families can have access to affordable high quality early childhood education and child care
  • Fair taxation: CPJ calls for progressive changes to the federal tax system to expand eligibility and access to benefits and to ensure corporations and those in the highest tax brackets pay their fair share. We support a federal carbon tax and call for these funds to be used to alleviate the burden of this greater cost of living for those living in poverty.
For CPJ's latest budget recommendations, check out the Federal Budgets section of our website.

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Letter: More Action Required for Children

CPJ joined Campaign 2000 and over 250 other groups and individuals in sending a letter calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal COVID Cabinet Committee to ensure children living in poverty from marginalized communities are central to the pandemic response and recovery plan. 

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Alternative Federal Budget 2020

New Decade, New Deal The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) released the 2020 Alternative Federal Budget at highly volatile moment for Canada and the world. The combination of COVID-19, a global oil sell-off, and the collapse of world financial markets threatens not only public health and safety, but also the stability of our economy,…

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Letter to Minister Morneau: Put Pharmacare in Budget 2020

CPJ has co-signed a letter to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, asking for the necessary commitments for pharmacare in this year’s federal budget.

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Statement of Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en

Citizens for Public Justice stands in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en First Nation hereditary chiefs and land defenders, who are being removed from their sovereign territory by the RCMP and the settler government of Canada.

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Dignity for All applauds launch of National Housing Strategy

Dignity for All applauds launch of National Housing Strategy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ottawa, ON: November 22, 2017 – To mark National Housing Day, the federal government unveiled the details of its National Housing Strategy (NHS), a national plan to address housing and homelessness in Canada. The Dignity for All campaign, co-led by Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) and Canada Without Poverty (CWP), welcomed the announcement as a step toward ending poverty in Canada.

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Beyond Productivity: Promoting the Well-being of Canadians

Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance Pre-Budget Consultations

August 2017

Download the brief (PDF)

Focusing the budget discussion narrowly on productivity and competitiveness diminishes Canadians to our economic “value” as workers. This framework fails to account for personal fulfilment, community well-being, and ecological integrity. And, it ignores the importance and benefits of connection, culture, and creativity. Drawing on CPJ’s recent submissions to consultations on climate change, housing, and poverty reduction, and our work on refugees, CPJ hase developed a number of recommendations for Budget 2018 focused on human and ecological flourishing.

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Flourishing Together

Flourishing Together

Poverty is more than a matter of low income, but it always includes low income. It is important that appropriate measures are available to provide accurate and current data about the broad reality of poverty.

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