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.
Parliament of Canada

Loving our neighbours: Brief on Income Inequality

Reducing inequality by lifting Canadians out of poverty
Brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance Study of Income Inequality in Canada
The Finance Committee has finally started its study of income inequality. Prior to these hearings, CPJ submitted a brief to the committee entitled ‘Loving our neighbours.’ We shared with the committee that Canadian churches and faith communities are concerned about income inequality and believe that all spheres of society, including the federal government, have a role to play in ensuring everyone has access to a life of dignity, well-being, and opportunity.

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Towards a Guaranteed Livable Income

Promoting the Common Good: 2012 pre-budget submission

Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance Pre-Budget Consultations
Economic recovery is important, but it needs to include all Canadians. Three years after the 2008-09 recession, many people, including youth, new immigrants, Aboriginal people, single-parent families, and people with disabilities are being left behind.

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Budget 2012: Building a Sustainable Recovery for All

Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance Pre-Budget Consultations
Too many Canadians are still waiting to experience recovery and risk being permanently left behind. CPJ believes that the best way of achieving a sustainable economic recovery is to ensure that all Canadians are able to participate in the economy. 

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Implementing the UN DRIP

In November 2010, the Canadian government finally gave its formal endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And while Aboriginal groups and civil society greeted this move with enthusiasm, all were careful to say that the endorsement was not an end in and of itself, but rather a starting point. For the endorsement to have any meaning at all it must be implemented.

So what would this look like?

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