Federal

According to the Dignity for All campaign, “the task of eliminating poverty requires all levels of government to work collaboratively and in concert alongside other sectors”, however the federal government plays a “fundamental and unique role” in poverty reduction (Dignity for All Campaign, 2017).

The government of Canada recently announced a federal poverty reduction strategy. Defining poverty is a key first step to reducing poverty. “For the first time in Canada's history, the Strategy sets an official measure of poverty: Canada's Official Poverty Line, based on the cost of a basket of goods and services that individuals and families require to meet their basic needs and achieve a modest standard of living in communities across the country” (Government of Canada, 2018). The Market Basket Measure (MBM) will now set the official poverty line in Canada. Based on the MBM, the government of Canada has set specific targets related to poverty reduction:

• 20% reduction in poverty by 2020

• 50% reduction in poverty by 2030

If the 50% reduction in poverty is achieved by 2030, it will lead to the lowest rate of poverty in Canada’s history (Government of Canada, 2018).

Canada’s first federal poverty reduction strategy is called Opportunity for All and it is based on three principles:

• Dignity – Lifting Canadians out of poverty by ensuring everyone's basic needs are met (Government of Canada, 2018)

• Opportunity and Inclusion – Helping Canadians join the middle class by promoting full participation in society and equality of opportunity (Government of Canada, 2018)

• Resilience and Security – Supporting the middle class by protecting Canadians from falling into poverty and by supporting income security and resilience (Government of Canada, 2018).

The Dignity component of the strategy will focus on lifting Canadians out of poverty by meeting basic needs. The measurements for Dignity will be food insecurity, unmet health needs, unmet housing needs and chronic homelessness, and deep income poverty (Government of Canada, 2018).

The Opportunity and Inclusion portion will focus on helping Canadians join the middle class by promoting full participation in society and equality of opportunity. The measurements for this area will centre around literacy and numeracy, youth engagement, and relative low income (Government of Canada, 2018).

The Resilience and Security aspect of the strategy will focus on supporting the middle class by protecting Canadians from falling into poverty and by supporting income security and resilience. The measurements for this area will concentrate on median hourly wage, poverty entry and exit rates, average poverty gap, and asset resilience (Government of Canada, 2018).

Ideas presented here do not reflect the COH and the Homeless Hub.