QUÉBEC, Feb. 20, 2018 /CNW/ - Over the past year, the Government of Canada has travelled across the country, engaging with thousands of Canadians, especially those who have lived experience with poverty, to hear their stories, ideas and feedback about reducing poverty. Today the Honourable Jean‑Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced the release of the What We Heard report, a summary of the feedback gathered during the Poverty Reduction Strategy engagement process.
Many of the experiences and stories shared by Canadians are captured in the report, reflecting the diverse needs of Canadians affected by poverty. The report covers issues such as the inability to meet basic needs, challenges with joining the middle class, risks of slipping into poverty, experiences of First Nation, Inuit and Métis people, service delivery and targets and indicators.
Canadians are concerned about their future and the future of their children. They want to see real, tangible results from their government with solutions that address the root causes of poverty. This will require bold and measurable solutions that are inclusive and work to address different aspects of poverty faced by Canadians, as well as setting measurable targets to reduce poverty. The invaluable feedback gathered during the engagement process will help to inform the ongoing work to develop the first-ever Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.
"I am pleased to release the What We Heard report, which I believe is a great step towards a better understanding of poverty in Canada. I am grateful for the level of commitment demonstrated by all those who participated and am honoured to help turn results of this engagement process into positive change as we develop a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy. It is by working together that we can make a difference in reducing poverty in our communities, and help all Canadians have a real and fair chance to succeed."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
ESDC engaged with more than 8,000 Canadians from across the country. This included:
- more than 1,950 emails and online submissions;
- community-led engagement sessions with over 600 Canadians in nine different provinces and territories;
- 13 Government of Canada officials-led sessions;
- 12 roundtables with stakeholders and four roundtables with Indigenous leadership;
- 4 public town hall events (one of which was broadcast live via Facebook);
- the Tackling Poverty Together Project, an in-depth study of poverty in six communities across Canada, reached over 5,500 Canadians;
- 64 submissions received through the #ReducePoverty in Canada youth contest and
- a National Poverty Conference with approximately 150 stakeholders from across the country.
Poverty Reduction Strategy Engagement Process
Through the engagement process the Government reached out through in-person roundtables, public town halls and online forums. Thousands of Canadians responded with surveys, shared stories and email submissions. The department compiled research information and feedback from First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, academics, researchers, stakeholders, service delivery organizations, youth and people with lived experience of poverty.
Engagement with First Nation, Inuit and Métis people
In keeping with Canada's commitment to renewed relationships with Indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership, Indigenous-specific engagement was also undertaken. The Government met with First Nations, Inuit and Métis leadership, held ministerial roundtables and facilitated engagement sessions with Indigenous communities and organizations. The Government also provided funding for engagement projects that were conducted by the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Métis National Council, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, and the Native Women's Association of Canada.
Tackling Poverty Together Research Project
As part of the engagement, the Tackling Poverty Together research project conducted extensive case studies with people in six cities across Canada–particularly those with experience of poverty–to closely examine the impact of federal poverty reduction programs locally. A report on key findings was released last fall and is available on Canada.ca.
#ReducePoverty in Canada Youth Contest
The Government called for ideas to #ReducePoverty in Canada through a contest for youth aged 12 to 24 years old, and young Canadians from across the country responded. Five innovative, passionate and inspired entries were chosen to be presented at the National Poverty Conference in Ottawa, Ontario last September, and can be seen on Canada.ca.
Ministerial Advisory Committee on Poverty
The Ministerial Advisory Committee on Poverty is composed of 17 leaders from academia, business and service delivery working in the field of poverty reduction, as well as individuals who have experienced poverty first-hand. The Committee members provide expertise and independent advice to the Minister.
National Poverty Conference
On September 27-28, 2017, the National Poverty Conference brought together academics, stakeholders, researchers, front-line service providers, people with lived experience of poverty, youth and members of the Advisory Committee on Poverty to discuss what was heard from Canadians during the engagement process.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: 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, [email protected]