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August 21st, 2018

NDP: Canadians deserve better than the Liberal’s poverty reduction strategy

The Liberal government’s ‘Opportunity for All’ poverty reduction strategy lacks serious ambition according to the NDP. Despite vowing to lift 2.1 million people out of poverty by 2030, the Liberals failed to introduce any new spending commitments or programs, instead only relying on existing programs.

“Currently there are 5 million Canadians living in poverty, which includes 1 million children. This is unacceptable. Canadians have been anxiously waiting for an ambitious poverty reduction strategy, but instead all we got was a re-announcement of existing programs without a single dollar of new funding,” said Brigitte Sansoucy, NDP Critic for Families, Children and Social Development. “We deserve better and expected the government to actually invest to ensure Canadians are given the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty.”

While the announcement included some poverty reduction targets, it did not include any new funding, or any new measures to ensure the objectives are met within the scheduled timeframe. Nearly three years into their current mandate, the Liberals have yet to introduce legislation and have given very little indication to when it would be presented and what it would include. With just over a year until the next general election, this delayed and empty announcement left many across the country disappointed.

“Canadians are tired of waiting for this government to act and implement real and concrete measures with funding to reduce poverty. This strategy was a golden, missed opportunity for the Liberal government to introduce real mechanisms to reduce poverty like universal childcare, universal pharmacare and dental care, affordable housing for everyone, as well as improvements to income support programs and reviews to the Employment Insurance system,” added MP Sheri Benson. “Canadians urgently need action on programs that will help lift them out of poverty, but unfortunately none of these strategies were included in this announcement. New Democrats will continue to pressure this government to implement real action to help Canadians.”