High poverty rates for vulnerable populations in Canada

Canada needs a strong, national anti-poverty plan


Ottawa, ON: October 12, 2017 — People with disabilities and single adults in Canada are experiencing poverty at alarming rates. Both groups are being overlooked by Canada’s current policies.

Today, Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) released Poverty Trends 2017, its annual report on poverty in Canada. It reports that 4.8 million people in Canada (or 13.9%) live in poverty.

Among people with disabilities, the poverty rate is 23%. As for single working-age adults, 42.9% live in poverty, up from 39.1% in 2009. Notably, most adults living in poverty in Canada are, in fact, employed.

“The national poverty rate has barely moved over the past decade. Poverty among single adults under 65 has actually gone up,” says Joe Gunn, executive director of CPJ. “With a host of provincial and municipal poverty plans already in place across Canada, too many Canadians are slipping through the cracks. It’s time for a strong, accountable national anti-poverty plan focused on the dignity of all people living in Canada.”

“As the government prepares to draft their 2018 federal budget, there can be no delay in developing a robust Canadian anti-poverty plan. 4.8 million Canadians are waiting for action, and they should not be made to wait until the next budget cycle,” he says.

In response to the complex reality of poverty in Canada, CPJ and the Dignity for All campaign are calling for a comprehensive, measurable, and sufficiently funded national anti-poverty plan. This call will be amplified on October 17, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, with over 70 events taking place across Canada as part of Chew on This!, a campaign calling for a rights-based anti-poverty plan for Canada.


For more information, contact Brad Wassink at ac.jpc@darb or 613-232-0275 x. 225.

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