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This year, we met with over 1,000 individuals and organizations from across the country as part of our ongoing dialogue with Canadians on poverty. We received overwhelming interest in our sessions on issues such as the future of work, grassroots responses to poverty, building a resilient social safety net, and the future of health and poverty. We also had the opportunity to meet with individuals with lived experience of poverty in small-group sessions.
We are grateful to those who took the time to engage with us. These conversations and the insights that participants shared are the foundation of our report and recommendations. Thank you.
During our engagement, we heard about the challenges facing those living in poverty, including inadequate income, difficulty accessing benefits and supports, and the racism and discrimination that permeate our systems and society. We heard that while the pandemic provided us with a real world pilot project of a more substantial and inclusive social safety net, it exacerbated inequalities that existed long before COVID-19.
In our report, we note the significant progress made in reducing poverty in Canada. While this is great news, we also note that deep inequities remain for certain populations made most marginal in our society. Reductions in poverty rates may be difficult to maintain in the years to come as we grapple with issues such as record inflation, long-term impacts of the pandemic and the phasing out of emergency supports. Sustainable poverty reduction will require a whole-of-society commitment to rebuilding and maintaining systems that leave no one behind.
We invite you to read, share, and continue the dialogue. As a Council, we will continue asking questions and learning from those with lived experience of poverty, as well as reflecting on what we heard and where we need to go from here. We hope this report can help move us closer to a more equitable and just society.
Your feedback will help us keep the conversation going. Please share with us your feedback and let us know if you would like to take part in future engagement activities, by sending an e-mail to [email protected].
You can access Transforming our Systems: The 2022 Report of the National Advisory Council on Poverty at the following links: