We can reduce poverty in Canada

June has ended, and so have public consultations on the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy. This initiative was called for in Minister Jean-Yves Duclos's mandate letter and framed as an opportunity to set targets on poverty reduction.

 

Poverty is a significant determinant of health. It means more of the household's income will go towards shelter, leaving less for nutritious food. It also means families have less choice when it comes to housing, and are more likely to live in overcrowded, unhealthy conditions. Work can be a path out of poverty, but only when it provides a living wage, something hard to find in a labour market where precarity is a new norm of employment.

 

Upstream used the consultation process to stress the ill health effect of poverty, and press Minister Duclos to see the CPRS as an opportunity to improve health outcomes by investing in preventative solutions. Our recommendations echoed those of groups like Campaign 2000 and Dignity for All on issues like basic income and implementing all 94 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action. We also promoted the Health in All Policies approach to decision making, a point we stress in our communications with all orders of government.

 

Our complete submission can be found here. The Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy should be released later this year, and Upstream will be reviewing it for clear targets and action-ready solutions to improve health outcomes.

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