Research: Poverty in Canada

Every October, CPJ releases our annual report on poverty in Canada, Poverty Trends. These reports highlight the unequal effects of poverty on racialized people, single-parent families, single seniors and adults, children, persons with disabilities, and Indigenous peoples. We also report on poverty rates of provinces, territories, and communities across Canada. Using the latest data from Statistics Canada and research reports by advocacy groups across the country, Poverty Trends provides us with a snapshot of poverty in Canada from year to year. We maintain that poverty is a violation of people’s inherent rights and dignity and that the Government of Canada has a legal and moral obligation to take action to end poverty and inequity. In Poverty Trends 2021 we build on the 2020 report's intersectional analysis of people's rights and realities in Canada. Canada follows persistent and predictable trends in terms of who is most likely to be poor, and what impact poverty is likely to have on people and communities. These trends have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic as those living in poverty and precarity were disproportionately affected by inadequate access to healthcare, food insecurity, and inadequate housing.  This report explores why these inequitable trends in poverty persist, and what fundamental changes are needed to rehabilitate our socioeconomic “ecosystem” so that all people’s rights and dignity are honoured. Taking a narrative approach, Poverty Trends 2021 gives us a current overview of poverty in Canada, highlighting both promising tools and problematic inequities in many poverty reduction efforts so far.

Bearing the Brunt

May 2010
Bearing the Brunt: How the 2008-2009 Recession Created Poverty for Canadian Families details the rise in poverty and economic insecurity caused by the recession.

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Income Security for All Canadians: A CPJ backgrounder on GLI

This paper provides an introduction to guaranteed or basic income, highlighting the policy debates and the history of the idea in Canada. Participants in the BIEN Canada Ottawa conference should read this paper to provide context for the detailed policy discussions and conversations of the conference.

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Justice and Jubilee: CPJ Backgrounder on Poverty

May 2009
Our foundational backgrounder on poverty is intended to be a resource for those who are wondering about the faith basis of CPJ’s work on poverty, highlighting our understanding of the Biblical call to justice and a Christian vision of economics. It also explains our public justice perspective on poverty, and the moral obligation of governments to take leadership on poverty, as well as the responsibility of every person and every social institution to eradicate poverty. 
It can also be a useful tool for small groups to explore the issue of poverty and to understand the values that perpetuate poverty, as well as the values and principles that call us to action on poverty.

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CPJ’s backgrounder & position paper on homelessness

June 2008
A growing number of Canadians today face concerns of housing affordability and feel the impact of inadequate housing and homelessness. CPJ believes governments are responsible for protecting the rights of their citizens and for promoting the well-being of communities by investing in affordable housing and providing necessary funding and infrastructures. There is a great need for strong political leadership to create a comprehensive housing strategy that ensures all Canadians, regardless of income, have access to affordable housing.

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Family cycling

CPJ’s backgrounder & position paper on GLI

June 2008
CPJ believes that an income security program, or guaranteed livable income (GLI), would ensure that everyone in Canada has access to the basic necessities of life, while respecting dignity and encouraging participation in society.

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