In 2004, Quebec became the first Province to release a poverty reduction strategy. Since then every province/territory except British Columbia (In progress) has created a strategy:
Quebec (2004, 2010): A plan “designed to meet the objectives of the Act to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion (2002), with the goal of having the lowest number of people in poverty among all industrialized nations by 2013. In 2010, Quebec launched plan 2, the Government Action Plan for Inclusion and Solidarity, which placed a higher value on work and protecting purchasing power. In 2017, the “Government Action Plan to Foster Inclusion and Social Participation aims to help 100,000 people out of poverty and establish a basic income for those with limited employ-ability (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition).
Newfoundland and Labrador (2006,2007): Before the launch of the “Reducing Poverty: An Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador”, the province along with BC has the highest rates of poverty in Canada. In 2016, the province met its goal of having the lowest poverty rates in the country. While the budget has since been cut back and restructured, the 2017/2018 budget supports several poverty related initiatives (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition).
Ontario (2007, 2014): In 2007, the “Make Poverty History” successfully recruited political party leaders in the province to support a poverty reduction plan. With significant feedback and participation from individuals in poverty and community groups, the “Breaking the Cycle: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy and “The Poverty Reduction Strategy” were released in 2008 and 2009. Another strategy was released in 2014, with the goal of lowering the province’s poverty by 25% (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition).
New Brunswick (2009): The “Overcoming Poverty together: Economic and Social Inclusion Plan” aimed to reduce poverty in New Brunswick by 25% and cut deep income poverty by 50%. The plan included 22 priorities with most completed. In 2017, the “New Brunswick Family Plan: Reducing Poverty” and “New Brunswick Family Plan: Supporting those with addictions and mental health Challenges” were released in addition to $10 million over the course of 5 years (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition).
Nova Scotia (2009): The “Preventing Poverty, Promoting Prosperity” strategy was released in 2009 with the goal of “reducing the number of people in poverty by the year 2020”. Since its release, the province has increased minimum wage, created a new education plan, and invested $2 million for further implementation (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition).
Manitoba (2011): In 2017 The Poverty Reduction Strategy Act, aiming to reduce poverty and increase social inclusion concluded. Since its launch in 2011, the province has seen an “increase in graduation rates, licensed child care spaces, and social and affordable housing units.” Despite this, Manitoba is still found to have the highest child poverty rate in Canada (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition).
Prince Edward Island (2012): The “Social Action Plan to Reduce Poverty” established in 2012 expired in 2015. The province received much criticism for not renewing the strategy, but with encouragement from the MacKillop Centre for Social Justice and the PEI Coalition for Poverty Eradication, the government announced a new strategy to be released in 2018 (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition).
Yukon (2012): Influenced by a high cost of living, the Yukon Department of Health and Social Services released a “Better Yukon for all: Government of Yukon’s Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Strategy” with three priority goals: Improving access to services, reducing inequality, and strengthening community vitality. Little was reported for 6 years until a Housing Action Plan was presented in 2017 to examine the relationship between housing and poverty (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition).
Nunavut (2012): A 5-year poverty action plan known as the “Makimaniq Plan” was released in 2012 and updated in 2017 to reflect that “all community members are of value”. In addition, 60 concrete actions to poverty reduction were added to legislature (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition).
Alberta (2013, 2017): “Together we Raise Tomorrow: Alberta’s Poverty Reduction Strategy” was launched in 2013, however the initiative expired with no concrete implementation. Several cities, including Calgary, Canmore, Edmonton, and several others collaborated on local responses. In 2017, the Government of Alberta created several initiatives to support low income individuals such as the Alberta Child Benefit, Low Income Rebates, an increased minimum wage, an affordable housing strategy, and $5.1 Billion worth of investments in programs and initiatives (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition).
Northwest Territories(2013): The “Building on the Strengths of Northerners: A strategic Framework toward Elimination of Poverty in the NWT” took several years of consultations with community stakeholders before its release in 2013. It was then followed by the “Anti Poverty Action Plan” in 2014, which was designed to be a working document that “reflects the changing realities of poverty in the territory.” An anti-poverty round-table was hosted in 2016 to discuss recent efforts to decrease poverty in the territory (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition).
Saskatchewan (2016): Saskatchewan’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, with the aim of reducing poverty in the province by 50% by 2025, was announced in 2014 and launched in 2016. The plan has four priorities: Sustaining a strong economy, “ensuring citizens have a higher level of disposable income to use at their discretion, removing barriers to independence, and providing financial support to Saskatchewan’s most vulnerable citizens” (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition). Despite its efforts, the initiative has received criticism for lacking targets and long-term goals and for making financial cuts to several programs aimed at individuals in poverty and with disabilities.
British Columbia (2017): Despite having the highest poverty rate in Canada, British Columbia did not announce a poverty reduction strategy until 2017. The Government of BC has invited residents to share their input and make recommendations for the strategy through community meetings, Metis engagement sessions, Indigenous Consultation, and other discussion forms. “What we Heard About Poverty in B.C.”, a report summarizing the consultations was released in 2018 (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition).