Committee calls for improved supports for vulnerable communities and a national poverty measure
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON: June 1, 2017 — The HUMA Parliamentary Committee has released a report on its recent study on poverty reduction strategies. The report, Breaking the Cycle: A Study on Poverty Reduction, summarizes what the committee heard its six-month study from the testimony of 162 witnesses and 74 submitted briefs. It outlines five areas of focus, including: income security; education, training, and employment; housing; mental health; and communities and neighbourhoods.
Breaking the Cycle makes 53 policy recommendations, including: improvements to income security measures (Employment Insurance, Working Income Tax Benefit, indexing the Canada Child Benefit to inflation), improved systems for food security for Indigenous and Northern communities, increased access to high quality early learning, improved supports for people with disabilities and mental health challenges, and increased investments in affordable and social housing.
Specific recommendations for the national poverty reduction strategy include: focusing on alleviating suffering, supporting vulnerable communities, and establishing targets and measuring progress. There is a recommendation that Employment and Social Development Canada develop a national poverty measure, that includes elements of other measures, and a national definition of poverty.
“The report certainly includes policy recommendations that we have been calling for through the Dignity for All campaign,” states Darlene O’Leary, Citizens for Public Justice’s socio-economic policy analyst. “We are encouraged to see a focus on improved supports for those most vulnerable, as well as targets and measures for the national strategy, though more specific accountability mechanisms and options for community engagement need to be in place for the strategy to be effective.”
CPJ contributed to the committee’s study of poverty reduction and co-leads Dignity for All: the campaign for a poverty-free Canada along with Canada Without Poverty.
The report will contribute to the consultations currently underway for the development of the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.
For more information, contact Brad Wassink at ac.jpc@darb or 613-232-0275 x. 225.