OTTAWA, ON. (NEWS 1130) – The Trudeau government is reviewing ways to help low-income residents meet their basic needs and it’s hinting we could learn more in next week’s budget, and that has some organizations crossing their fingers for some real action.
“We’re very hopeful to see what the details are,” says Laura Neidhart with the group Canada Without Poverty.
She says she’s cautiously optimistic about the budget, and what the government may do to help those struggling to get by. Ottawa has already said it will enhance the working income tax benefit, but Neidhart says a lot more needs to be done.
“Things like a national child care framework, PharmaCare, pay equity legislation at the federal level. There has also been talk around a federal $15 minimum wage. There are people who are unable to meet their basic needs on a monthly basis, so, it is crucial that there is federal leadership.”
Tim Richter with the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness is hoping the government speeds up implementation of the Canada Housing Benefit, which would help low-income Canadians with rent, but isn’t set to kick in until after the next election. “The sooner that can be in place, the sooner we begin to see reductions in homelessness.”
The Liberals have promised a national poverty reduction strategy, and a recent report shows Canadians want more help with their basic living costs, such as rent, food, and transportation.
In 2015, 4.8 million people in our country were said to be living below the poverty line.