Federal Budget Takes Long-Term Steps Towards Helping Canadians Living in Poverty

Food Banks Canada’s Response to the 2017 Federal Budget

Food Banks Canada is pleased to see the federal government make concrete long-term commitments to support those living with low incomes in the federal budget this week. These commitments mark an important step towards making a difference in the lives of people living in poverty, who are food insecure, and who need to access food banks just to make ends meet.

The 2017 federal budget includes the following measures:

  • $11.2 billion over 11 years as part of the new National Housing Strategy to increase the stock of affordable housing, which includes $5 billion for a National Housing Fund to address critical housing issues (such as support for social housing) and targeted funding for Indigenous Canadians living off-reserve.
  • $7 billion over 10 years, starting in 2018-19, to increase the availability of affordable childcare in collaboration with the provinces/territories through the development of a National Framework on Early Learning and Child Care.
  • $900 million over 6 years, starting in 2017-18, for skills training and education for unemployed or under-employed Canadians who don`t qualify for Employment-Insurance (EI) funded training opportunities.

These are significant investments that mirror recommendations made by Food Banks Canada over a number of years. Given the extended timeframes of these investments, it will take some time for these changes to have a direct impact on the lives of Canadians who are struggling. While these improvements will only be felt over an extended period of time, we believe they are necessary steps to finally address some of the root causes of poverty in Canada.

Until these changes take effect, it is even more important that Food Banks Canada continue to work with the federal government to develop and implement its upcoming Poverty Reduction Strategy by the end of this year so that those in need can receive immediate support – because no one should go hungry in a country as prosperous as Canada.


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