Donna Wood comments on federal poverty reduction strategy

September 24, 2018

Donna Wood: How the First Poverty Reduction Strategy can be improved.

The government of Canada released Opportunity for All: Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy on August 21, 2018. The good news is that we will finally have an official poverty line that will pre-empt disagreements on the measurement of poverty and help steer the conversation straight to what should be done about it. Targets and reporting are also good.

The bad news is that the strategy completely neglects to talk about the tools the government is already using to reduce poverty: things like Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement and the Canada Pension Plan, as well as the Canada Social Transfer. It is initiatives such as OAS, GIS and CPP — put in place in the 1960s and now fully mature — that have moved us from having a poverty rate among seniors of 37 percent in 1970 to a rate of only 6 percent in 2000.

Link to article: Policy Options