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Liberals unveil new law with aggressive targets to reduce poverty rates in Canada

Last Updated Nov 6, 2018 at 5:50 pm PDT

Summary

Bill also sets official poverty line using the 'market basket measure,' the income to buy basic goods and services

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government has introduced its anti-poverty bill in the House of Commons, setting out an aggressive goal to lift more than two million people out of poverty within the next decade.

These targets would see poverty rates lowered by 20 per cent from 2015 levels by the end of the current decade and a further 50 per cent reduction by 2030.

Minister for Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos says the bill also sets an official poverty line using the “market basket measure,” which will be based on the income required to buy the basic goods and services people need to have a modest standard of living.

“Our vision for Canada is to become world leader in the eradication of poverty, a vision for a Canada without poverty,” Duclos says. “We understand that the road to achieving this ambitious goal will be a long one and we have a lot of work to do to get there.”

Duclos acknowledged the law does not include new funding in his announcement at an Ottawa food bank, but pointed to previously announced investments totalling $22 billion since 2015 for low-income families and the middle class, hinting that more could be coming in the 2019 budget.

The announcement comes a year away from the next election, but the minister denies this is just a ploy for votes.

-With files from The Canadian Press