Publications, opinions, and speeches
Shaking up the systems: Fighting poverty in post-pandemic Canada
Published on 17/05/2021
In March 2021, the National Advisory Council on Poverty (NACP) held a consultation meeting with civil society leaders across the country on how Canada can further reduce poverty. The aim of the meeting was to discuss how our systems should change to create an equitable post-pandemic recovery, and how the NACP could support these changes.
At the core of the questions raised by the NACP was the idea that we need structural change to reduce poverty in Canada. We agree with the central premise of this idea, and are pleased to see that the NACP is undertaking these discussions. In the following submission, we offer a number of policy ideas that can help systematically reduce poverty in Canada. They are ideas rooted in what the evidence tells us. They are also rooted in the idea that everyone across Canada has the fundamental human right to live in dignity and participate fully in society, and it is the duty of all levels of government to respect, protect, and fulfill these rights.
Economic and social rights—especially the human right to an adequate standard of living—provide us with the principles we need to transform our social safety net. In this submission, we respond to the recommendations made by the NACP in its report, Building Understanding: The First Report of the National Advisory Council on Poverty.
While the recommendations included in the NACP’s report are encouraging, they need to go further. The Council has the potential to considerably shape Canada’s efforts to protect people against poverty. We urge the NACP to develop policy recommendations that transform the principles that underpin our social safety net and enable the structural changes that are necessary to help reduce poverty, and improve income security, in Canada.