|Statement by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty |
GATINEAU, QC, Oct. 17, 2017 /CNW/ - Today marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, a day that highlights poverty around the world. From the loss of human potential to the high cost of hunger and social isolation, poverty affects us all. It has many faces and especially targets the most vulnerable in our communities, like single-parent families, older single adults, people with disabilities and recent immigrants. First Nations, Inuit and Métis are also at particular risk, and poverty can pass from one generation to another, trapping children in the same cycles of poverty as their parents. In total, in Canada, more than 3 million people live in poverty, with many having to make difficult choices for their families, such as deciding whether to buy healthy food or pay rent, or whether to stay in school or drop out to help an ailing family member.
Supporting hard-working families in their efforts to join and stay in the middle class is the cornerstone of what our government envisions for Canada. All Canadians deserve to have a real and fair chance to succeed. That is why we continue to highlight poverty as an important issue and work to provide Canadians with multi-dimensional solutions and inclusive support to combat poverty. We implemented the Canada Child Benefit, a simplified, fair, targeted and tax-free monthly child benefit that is helping to lift approximately 300,000 children out of poverty. We also restored the age of eligibility for Old Age Security benefits to 65 years old, enhanced the Canada Pension Plan and increased the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single seniors.
But we need to do more.
That is why we committed to develop the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy. To meet this commitment, over the past year our Government has gone across the country to speak with Canadians, academics, service delivery organizations and people with lived experience of poverty. Thousands of people participated in the consultations via roundtables, town halls and online discussion tools. We heard from Canadians that many families are still struggling to make ends meet. We will release a What We Heard report based on this engagement, which will summarize the concerns, issues and ideas that Canadians have expressed during the engagement process.
A report on key findings and knowledge gathered during the Tackling Poverty Together research project was recently released. The research project closely examined poverty with extensive case studies in six cities across Canada and assessed the impact of federal poverty reduction programs locally in communities based on the opinions of citizens, particularly people who have experienced poverty.
Also to help support the development of the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy, we recently announced the members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Poverty. Chosen from over 400 nominations from across Canada and internationally, the Advisory Committee brings together a committed and diverse group of 17 leaders from academia, business and service delivery working in the field of poverty reduction, and individuals who have experienced poverty first-hand. The Committee will act as a sounding board and will provide advice on a range of poverty-related issues as we continue our work to reduce poverty in Canada.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite Canadians to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, and reflect on ways we can improve the social and economic well-being of all Canadians.
Together, we can reduce poverty in Canada.
Émilie Gauduchon-Campbell 10/17/2017