OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have unveiled their long-promised anti-poverty law, saying it will force future governments to meet ambitious targets to lift more than two million people above the poverty line in the coming years.
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.
The law will also establish the country’s first official poverty line using the “market basket measure,” which tests whether a family’s income will mean they can afford a set of basic goods and services.
But the new law doesn’t include any new spending for programs meant to help Canada’s poor today.
Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos acknowledged that 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.
Volunteers at the food bank listened to the announcement with skepticism however, saying they had hoped to see more tangible commitments from government to help the homeless and the poor.
The Canadian Press