Tackling Canada's poverty problem

When people hear that Canada's after-tax income gap between rich and poor families is at a 30-year high, they ask: what can we do about it?

There is no magic bullet solution, but Campaign 2000 is offering a thoughtful way forward to tackle Canada's persistent poverty problem.

If you don't think Canada has a poverty problem, think again. As Campaign 2000 writes in an op-ed published today in the Toronto Star:

"In Canada, child and family poverty are not receding; the child poverty rate in Canada was higher in 2005 than it was in 1989. Child poverty rates are disproportionately high among aboriginals, visible minorities, those with disabilities and recent immigrants. This is not the Canada that most
Canadians want."

So what do we do? Campaign 2000 is urging Canada's Premiers to commit to a poverty reduction strategy now. They write:

 "A comprehensive poverty reduction strategy would include indicators for measuring poverty; measurable targets and timelines; a co-ordinated plan of action, including budget commitments; and a mechanism for monitoring and evaluating progress to ensure accountability."

Other countries are doing it, with great success. Canada has the resources to tackle its poverty problem -- all we're waiting for now is the political will to make it happen.

-- Trish Hennessy