CPJ lauds the launch of a federal poverty strategy

After years of advocacy from anti-poverty organizations across Canada, the federal government has launched the long-awaited national poverty reduction strategy – Creating Opportunity for All: Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ), a national faith-based policy organization, has advocated for a National Anti-Poverty Plan for over a decade.

“This is a good announcement for those living in poverty,” says Joe Gunn, executive director of CPJ. “However, this strategy falls short of what anti-poverty and faith-based groups wanted.”

The federal poverty reduction strategy sets a target to reduce poverty rates in Canada by 50 per cent of 2015 rates by 2030.

“We’re happy to see that an official measure of poverty will be enshrined in legislation,” says Gunn. “But while targets are good, results are better.”

Today’s announcement includes no new funding commitments.

“Significant and sustained investments are needed to meaningfully address poverty,” says Darlene O’Leary, CPJ’s Socio-Economic Policy Analyst.

CPJ has worked with Canada Without Poverty since 2009 to lead the Dignity for All campaign. Our goal has been the development of a comprehensive, rights-based, legislated, and fully-funded national anti-poverty plan.

Dignity for All released a model national plan in 2015, after consulting for several years with anti-poverty, policy, and faith-based organizations.

CPJ is grateful to Minister Jean-Yves Duclos for taking the time to personally acknowledge CPJ’s anti-poverty work over the past decade.

“Our goal has always been poverty eradication, and that work will continue,” says Gunn.