This document provides an update of the tool developed in 2009 by the National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy (NCCHPP) which provided an overview of anti-poverty policies implemented by five Canadian provinces, namely the Government of Ontario's poverty reduction legislation, Manitoba and Nova Scotia's comprehensive strategies, as well as Newfoundland and Labrador's and Québec's efforts to combat poverty through broad‐based policies. Shortly after August 2009, the Government of New Brunswick announced its Economic and Social Inclusion Plan, supported by the Economic and Social Inclusion Act. As of March 2015, all Canadian provinces and territories, with the exception of Alberta and British Columbia, have announced poverty reduction plans.
In light of these developments, and in continuity with other work developed on anti‐poverty strategies across Canada,1 the NCCHPP has conducted a scan of comprehensive laws and strategies. This refers to legislation, plans or strategies “that are multi‐faceted, crossing program areas and jurisdictions.”2,3 This scan seeks to provide a descriptive overview of existing comprehensive anti‐poverty plans, strategies and policies, and to guide the reader towards these policy documents and analyses of them. It also aims to provoke discussion concerning current and future policy responses to poverty.
This document does not replace an in‐depth analysis of anti‐poverty measures in Canada. Indeed, it does not examine the individual policies that contribute to the social safety net provided (or not) by each province. Rather, it focuses on comprehensive policies, as these usually involve the use of intersectoral approaches, one area of study at the NCCHPP. Furthermore, most of the anti‐poverty strategies described in the scan are recent and not yet well known by the public health community. Since two provinces are still in the midst of formulating their own strategies while others are in the process of updating their current ones, and the federal government has yet to establish its own broad‐based policy, this tool aims to increase familiarity with existing strategies and the mechanisms applied to fight poverty in Canada.
The first table highlights anti‐poverty legislation that has been adopted in four Canadian provinces and one territory: Québec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Nunavut. These laws are of interest as they promote long‐term government action and commitment.
The second table
highlights comprehensive poverty reduction strategies
and action plans
that have been launched by the provinces of Québec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Prince Edward Island, as well as the Nunavut and Yukon territories, including updated strategies launched by Québec, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Ontario. The strategies' objectives, targets and mechanisms, as well as key areas they target: housing; early childhood development initiatives and family policies; training and employment programs; income supplementation and replacement; and place‐based initiatives, are highlighted among others. This information contributes to a summary understanding of the concrete measures that provinces take to reduce poverty, within comprehensive policies. An overview by province can be viewed by clicking on the title of each of the strategies or legislative acts.
This NCCHPP tool is open for your comments:
•Are there modifications that need to be made to a particular entry?
•Are there missing strategies?
•Should other dimensions be added to the descriptive framework?8
•Is this tool useful?
Please let us know, contact Val Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org