WHAT WE HEARD AND HOW WE HEARD IT
Over the past year, the Government of Canada held a nationwide conversation on what a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy should look like.
This week in Quebec City, I was pleased to announce that we had reached an important milestone in the Strategy’s development: the release of the What We Heard report.
Through ministerial roundtables, public town halls and community engagement activities, we met with many people, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis, academics, researchers, stakeholders, service delivery organizations and youth. Throughout the consultations, there was a particular focus on hearing from people with lived experience of poverty. We heard from thousands of people online, who shared their stories and ideas on how to #ReducePoverty in Canada. Our Tackling Poverty Together research project closely examined poverty in six cities across Canada and assessed the impact of federal poverty reduction programs in these communities. I also had the pleasure of working closely with the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Poverty, a group of 17 leaders from academia, business, service delivery and individuals with a lived experience with poverty, who provided their advice and recommendations.
In all our conversations, I heard about many poverty issues, including access to affordable and suitable housing, child care, employment, education, health care, food security and meeting basic needs. In particular, I heard about how colonialism and inter‑generational trauma have impacted First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada.
As Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, I am pleased share the What We Heard report that will inform the Government’s first-ever Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy. From academic expert research to the real-life and heart-breaking experiences of Canadians living in poverty, the Report summarizes key findings of our consultations.
THE JOURNEY TO POVERTY REDUCTION IN CANADA
We heard that not all basic needs are being met; systemic issues like discrimination are holding people back and many do not feel like they have access to opportunities to succeed.
One thing that is clear from our consultations: Canadians want change. They are concerned about their future and that of their children. They want to see real, tangible results from their governments. They want solutions that address the root causes of poverty. And they want to see benchmarks that use reliable data to measure success. This will require bold and measurable solutions that are inclusive and work to address different aspects of poverty.
Our government will work to turn results of the What We Heard report into positive change so that all Canadians have a real and fair chance to succeed.