Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending programs

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OTTAWA — The minister in charge of Canada’s latest national plan to combat poverty says the long-term success of the strategy will depend on the willingness of future governments to stick to it.

The newly released 115-page plan provides a list of programs and policies the Liberals have enacted since they came to office in 2015, and links them back to efforts to beat down poverty rates.

But there’s no outline of any new policy or spending promises that would help reach the stated goal of lifting 2.1 million people out of poverty by 2030 and pushing the poverty rate to a historic low.

Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos acknowledges that the 2030 goal is ambitious, but he believes it’s realistic if future governments follow the course the Liberals are charting.

The strategy will also establish an official poverty threshold.

That measure doesn’t include data from Indigenous communities and parts of the North, but Duclos says the government will work to fill the statistical gap and better track poverty reduction efforts in First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities.

The government plans to introduce legislation this year to enshrine the goals and the poverty threshold into law.

The Canadian Press