Government of Canada concludes first case study visit for Tackling Poverty Together project in Saint John, New Brunswick

Research in Winnipeg, Manitoba is next

SAINT JOHN, March 14, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John–Rothesay, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, thanked the City of Saint John, the Government of New Brunswick, and all participants in the Tackling Poverty Together (TPT) project in Saint John. The Government of Canada is committed to tackling poverty and inequality to achieve real results.

TPT is intended to inform the development of the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy and allow the Government of Canada to hear directly from Canadians living in poverty and learn from organizations that deliver poverty reduction programs at the community level. The community visit included speaking with people in Saint John and listening to their stories to assess the impact of government programs on their everyday life.

During the Saint John community visit, 136 people with a lived experience of poverty were consulted through focus groups and in-person surveys. As well, a roundtable session was conducted with 15 community stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations involved in poverty reduction initiatives and federal, provincial and municipal government representatives. At the completion of the quantitative aspect of the research, 1,000 people in Saint John will have been surveyed. The input and feedback collected through these surveys, meetings and discussions will provide valuable information which will help shape the development of the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Next stops for the TPT project will include Ontario; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Tisdale, Saskatchewan; Trois-Rivières, Québec; and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

The TPT project will release its findings in late summer 2017. All Canadians are encouraged to learn more about what is happening under the Poverty Reduction Strategy by visiting the webpage or joining the online conversation to #ReducePoverty in Canada @SocDevSoc.

Quotes

"Poverty is a complex issue that affects more than 3 million Canadians. It has many faces—children and families, seniors, Indigenous people, people with disabilities and immigrants. We need to work together with our partners, and with all Canadians, to find solutions. Every Canadian should have the chance to build a good life for themselves and their families. That is why we need to hear from you about how we can make it happen."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

"I would like to thank the community of Saint John, New Brunswick, for being open and willing to participate in the Tackling Poverty Together initiative. I am grateful for our community members who have shared their struggles and barriers in their daily lives. I am confident that by working with our partners, we will build a poverty reduction strategy that will have real meaning and impact for Canadians."
Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John–Rothesay

Quick Facts

  • In 2014, 3 million Canadians (8.8 percent of the population) lived in poverty. This included more than half a million children.
  • Unattached people aged 45 to 64, single parents, recent immigrants, Indigenous people and people with disabilities are more likely to experience poverty.
  • In 2014, about 746,000 Canadians lived in families that worked but were poor.
  • In 2014, Canada's low-income rate for seniors was 3.9 percent .
  • In 2011, Over 655,000 Canadian households spent at least 50 percent of their income before taxes on housing. About 90 percent of these households were low-income.

Associated Links

Canada.ca/reduce-poverty (Poverty Reduction Strategy webpage)
Towards a Poverty Reduction Strategy: Discussion Paper 
Consulting Canadians on poverty reduction (webpage)
Advisory committee on poverty webpage


Backgrounder


Tackling Poverty Together

Tackling Poverty Together is a research project in six communities across Canada. It aims to assess the impact of poverty reduction programs locally in communities that have identified poverty as an issue, while learning directly from people who know first-hand what it's like to live in poverty. The project involves gathering qualitative and quantitative information on the impact of government programs on those living in poverty, barriers to accessing the programs, and ideas to improve existing programs.

The Tackling Poverty Together project will be implemented in Saint John, New Brunswick; Trois-Rivières, Quebec; Regent Park (Toronto), Ontario; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Tisdale, Saskatchewan; and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Consultations on a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy 

The Government of Canada has launched an engagement website where interested individuals and organizations can provide their input and opinions on Canada's Poverty Reduction Strategy. Additionally, Minister Duclos will hold discussion forums and online town halls to hear what Canadians have to say.

The online engagement will be complemented by in-person roundtables with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, Indigenous organizations, businesses, community organizations, academic experts and Canadians who have experienced poverty.

The Government welcomes all input on the ways to reduce poverty and its impacts, including potential targets, timelines, and indicators for the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Advisory committee on poverty

The ministerial advisory committee on poverty will contribute to the development of a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy by complementing the public consultations. One of the committee's key roles will be to act as a sounding board to help test ideas that are generated in the public consultations process.

The committee's work will build on the consultations by providing independent advice on issues that could include

  • identifying priority areas of action;
  • aligning federal government actions to reduce poverty with those of the provinces and territories; and
  • how to replicate innovative approaches to poverty reduction at the national level.

The committee will operate for one year. Members will be representative of Canada's diversity and will be selected from five key areas, including academia, international expertise, service delivery, business, and people who have experienced poverty. 

The committee members will be selected through a call for nominations process. Through this process, the Government of Canada invites interested individuals who have experience with poverty and poverty reduction to apply for the ministerial advisory committee on poverty. The nomination period is from February 13 to March 27, 2017.

Recent Government of Canada initiatives to support poverty reduction

When many think about poverty, the first thing that comes to mind is income. While income is essential for well-being, poverty is not only about a lack of adequate income. Being poor often goes hand-in-hand with other hardships such as poor housing, poor health, food insecurity, low employment and education outcomes, lack of access to transportation and services, and social exclusion. Poverty also impacts social mobility. The multidimensional nature of poverty means governments need to respond to both its causes and its consequences.

Accordingly, the Government of Canada has taken action on a range of issues with a view to reducing poverty in Canada. The Government has introduced the Canada Child Benefit, the Guaranteed Income Supplement top-up, and the middle-class tax cut. In addition to these actions, the Government has also committed to a framework for early learning and child care, a national housing strategy, a new health accord, primary and secondary education reform on reserve, investments in social and green infrastructure, a social finance and social innovation strategy, the development of accessibility legislation and investments for women fleeing violence, to name a few. 

 

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Émilie Gauduchon-Campbell, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 819-654-5546; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca, Follow us on Twitter


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