World Economy

Canada Gov’t Plans to Halve Poverty Rate

Canada Gov’t Plans to Halve Poverty RateCanada Gov’t Plans to Halve Poverty Rate

The Canadian government is introducing a national ‘poverty line’ for the first time and enshrine in law a goal to halve the number of people living in poverty by 2030.

It has proposed to introduce the first Poverty Reduction Act in Canada’s history, which would also see the rate of poverty in the country reduce by 20% by 2020, PF International reported.

The strategy, released by the government earlier this week, called Opportunity for All, also set out its definition of ‘poverty’ in the document and what the ‘poverty line’—the minimum level of income considered to be adequate—will be.

If the strategy is successful, this would mean Canada would have the lowest poverty rate in its history, the government said.

John McArthur, senior fellow in global economy and development at the Brookings Institute, told PF International that the strategy marked “two major steps forward”.

“First, the new official poverty line will help focus everyone’s attention on how the country is doing. Second, the targets for 2020 and 2030 provide a clear definition of success, explicitly aligned with the standards all countries set for themselves in the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

He added that the federal elections, which will take place on October 21 next year, will be “a perfect moment” for politicians and analysts to debate how to meet the targets set out in the plan.

The government has not yet announced any new funding to meet its goals or explained how it will meet the targets.

McArthur said: “In my own view it’s not necessarily a bad thing to separate the ‘what’ discussion (defining the problem we’re trying to solve) from the ‘how’ discussion (describing targeted strategies and investments to solve the problem).

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