Documents offer glimpse of federal plans to promote upcoming poverty strategy

OTTAWA — Newly released documents suggest the federal Liberal government plans to sell its forthcoming poverty reduction strategy as an all-encompassing exercise that will be greater than the sum of its parts.

The effort to craft a storyline to market the plan to Canadians has been going on for almost a year.

Top officials from multiple departments met last November to brainstorm how best to include various government spending programs under the banner of Canada’s first-ever federal poverty reduction strategy, which is being overseen by Employment and Social Development Canada.

A briefing note, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, says the public strategy will make reference to myriad federal programs and link them back to efforts to reduce poverty.

“The poverty reduction strategy that is publicly released, however, would be inclusive, making references to all activities across the federal government that have contributed, or will be contributing, to a reduction in poverty,” read the briefing note from Infrastructure Canada.

Infrastructure Canada officials noted that spending on new recreational centres, for instance, will provide spaces and a “broad spectrum of services” to vulnerable populations like youth, low-income families and Indigenous Peoples. Likewise, spending on public transit can be sold as providing helping low-income families.

A spokesman for Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the government has already taken steps to reduce poverty and increase opportunity in Canada and plans to improve on measures through the final strategy.

”Our government believes that every Canadian deserves a real and fair chance to succeed,” Michael Brewster said. “We are going to announce Canada’s first-ever poverty reduction strategy very soon. It will set clear and official targets in order to better measure poverty, because the better we measure poverty, the more effectively we can reduce it.”

Conservative social development critic Karen Vecchio said that if the Liberals were looking to sell a whole-of-government poverty plan, then the strategy should take into account every aspect of federal policy, including trade tariffs.

“They need to look at every single thing from the dollars that the prime minister spends on his luxury trips, to spending $30,000 to rename a centre,” she said, referencing research costs that led the government to rename the “Future Skills Lab” to “Future Skills Centre.”

“If they want to start, start from the top.”

The messages in the document are feeding growing nerves from stakeholders that the final plan may offer little in the way of new money or bold policy because not everyone in the government sees the political upside to spending on poverty.

That has anti-poverty groups feeling wary that the government is embarking on a public relations campaign to promote steps it has already taken.

Just Posted

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Art on Red Deer billboard a reminder of aboriginal women’s strength

Joane Cardinal-Schubert’s image is part of Resilience Project, shown from coast to coast

Red Deer’s new ‘equity co-ordinator’ will promote tolerance

Andrea Lacoursiere was hired by city with Alberta Human Rights funding

More bridge work this summer in Red Deer’s Coronation Park

The park’s north bridge is being rebuilt to ensure safety

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber falls to Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby final

WASHINGTON — Nationals Park was eerily quiet late Monday when Kyle Schwarber… Continue reading

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

REGINA — Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking… Continue reading

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to… Continue reading

‘City of icebergs:’ Study says 100s of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

The statistics in her recently published paper say it all: hundreds of… Continue reading

U.S. hits back with WTO challenge against Canada’s retaliatory tariffs

OTTAWA — The United States fired back Monday at the Canadian government’s… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month