Feds Set up Committee to Be Sounding Board for Poverty Strategy

February 15, 2017 Updated: February 15, 2017
FONT BFONT SText size

OTTAWA—The federal government is turning to public consultations to help craft a poverty reduction strategy.

Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos also plans to use the expertise of an advisory committee on poverty to produce a national proposal that the Liberals expect to deliver by this fall.

The advisory committee will be made up of experts from academia, business, and social services, as well as people who have lived with poverty. It will act as a sounding board to test ideas that emerge from the public consultations on ways to help those living in need.

Duclos said the work of the committee, as well as similar consultations being undertaken by a panel of MPs, is needed to finally build a federal vision on poverty reduction.

“As a former academic who has worked quite a lot on poverty reduction, I have seen the difficulties created by a lack of vision on poverty reduction from the federal government,” he said.

“The federal government needs to design how first it views poverty—how it measures it, how it’s going to monitor the progress in reducing it, and how it’s going to collaborate with other governments in order to better support our families living in need and to encourage them to enter the middle class. All of that has been missing.”

The announcement on Feb. 13 came as the Liberals finalized a national housing strategy designed to help make housing more affordable and reduce homelessness. That plan will be out after the forthcoming federal budget, which will also outline more details on infrastructure spending, some of which Duclos oversees.

The housing strategy is seen as the backbone to the anti-poverty plan.

It’s estimated that some 3 million Canadians live in poverty and 235,000 experience homelessness annually.

From The Canadian Press