Government of Canada announces new members of the National Advisory Council on Poverty

November 16, 2023             Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

Good social policy cannot be created in a vacuum – it must be informed by both professional expertise and lived experience. This is why the Government of Canada’s Opportunity For All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy commits to the formation of a National Advisory Council on Poverty to provide advice on how the federal government can best address and reduce the impact of poverty on our citizens.

In support of this commitment, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jenna Sudds, today announced Hannah Brais, Lisa Brown, John Cox, Kristen Desjarlais-deKlerk and Nathalie Lachance as new members of the National Advisory Council on Poverty. These new members are joining four incumbent members, including Scott MacAfee, Sylvie Veilleux, Rachelle Metatawabin, and Dr. Kwame McKenzie. The Council brings together a passionate and accomplished group of academics, advocates, practitioners and people with lived experience of poverty. 

The Council was formed through an open, transparent and merit-based selection process that strives for gender parity and reflects Canada’s diversity. They provide independent advice to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on poverty reduction. In carrying out its mandate, the Council:

  • Reports annually on progress toward reducing the level of poverty by 50% by 2030 relative to 2015;
  • Produces an annual report for the Minister that will provide detailed information on the progress being made towards meeting the poverty reduction targets and other indicators being tracked under the Strategy, as well as advice on poverty reduction;
  • Provides advice in relation to programs, funding and activities that contribute to poverty reduction; and
  • Continues a dialogue with Canadians on poverty including public engagement with the academic community and other experts, Indigenous peoples and persons living in poverty or with lived experience of poverty.

Results from the 2021 Canadian Income Survey show that the overall poverty rate in Canada, as measured by Canada’s Official Poverty Line, was 7.4% in 2021. This represents a 49% decrease in the overall poverty rate compared to 2015 (14.5%), the baseline year for Canada’s legislated poverty reduction targets. 

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