Statement by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

October 17, 2018         Ottawa, Ontario             Employment and Social Development Canada

Today, October 17, marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Canada is at its best when all Canadians are treated fairly and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The Government of Canada is committed to act as a leader and a full partner in the fight against poverty. This is a fight that our government is taking very seriously and we understand the urgent and important nature of the fight for a more just society.

We have worked tirelessly to help Canadians who still struggle to make ends meet. Since 2015, $22 billion has been invested, and by 2019, about 650,000 Canadians will have been lifted out of poverty.

This summer, we launched Opportunity for All, Canada’s First Ever National Poverty Reduction Strategy, bringing together the many strands of poverty reduction policies and programs our government has introduced and implemented.

We introduced the Canada Child Benefit—which lifts more than half a million people, including nearly 300,000 children, out of poverty. We restored the age of eligibility for the Guaranteed Income Supplement and Old Age Security benefits from 67 back to 65, which is preventing 100,000 seniors from plunging into severe poverty every year, and enhanced the Supplement, which provides financial security to about 900,000 seniors and lifts 57,000 seniors out of poverty. Last November we launched Canada’s first-ever national housing strategy, a ten-year, $40‑billion plan to give more Canadians a safe and affordable place to call home.

But we know that our work isn’t anywhere close to being done. We know that far too many Canadians are still struggling to make ends meet. We know that too many Canadians still have to make impossible choices: keep a roof over their heads or food in their bellies; buy clothing for their children or save for their future.

To eradicate poverty, we need to both understand it and measure it. That’s why, for the first time ever, Canada will have an official poverty line. To help grow the middle class even further, the Poverty Reduction Strategy sets ambitious and concrete poverty reduction targets: a 20 percent reduction in poverty by 2020 and a 50 percent reduction by 2030. This long-term commitment to tackling poverty will lead to the lowest poverty rate in Canada’s history, thus setting Canada as a world leader in reducing poverty.

To further measure our progress, we will also establish the National Advisory Council on Poverty to advise the Government on poverty reduction.

Canada’s Official Poverty Line, the poverty reduction targets and the Council will be enshrined into law, to guarantee a permanent commitment to poverty reduction and to ensure that achieving a more just society remains a priority.

Canada is a prosperous country and we owe it to Canadians to ensure that more people have an opportunity to benefit from that prosperity.

Together, we can build a country where all Canadians have a fair and equal chance to succeed in life.”

Associated Links
Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy
Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy – What we heard about poverty so far
Canada Child Benefit
Guaranteed Income Supplement
National Housing Strategy


For media enquiries, please contact:
Valérie Glazer
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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