Minister Duclos releases report on nationwide engagement to reduce poverty

From Employment and Social Development Canada

February 20, 2018 Québec, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada

Over the past year, the Government of Canada has travelled across the country, engaging with thousands of Canadians, especially those who have lived experience with poverty, to hear their stories, ideas and feedback about reducing poverty. Today the Honourable Jean‑Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced the release of the What We Heard report, a summary of the feedback gathered during the Poverty Reduction Strategy engagement process.

Many of the experiences and stories shared by Canadians are captured in the report, reflecting the diverse needs of Canadians affected by poverty. The report covers issues such as the inability to meet basic needs, challenges with joining the middle class, risks of slipping into poverty, experiences of First Nation, Inuit and Métis people, service delivery and targets and indicators.

Canadians are concerned about their future and the future of their children. They want to see real, tangible results from their government with solutions that address the root causes of poverty. This will require bold and measurable solutions that are inclusive and work to address different aspects of poverty faced by Canadians, as well as setting measurable targets to reduce poverty. The invaluable feedback gathered during the engagement process will help to inform the ongoing work to develop the first-ever Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.


“I am pleased to release the What We Heard report, which I believe is a great step towards a better understanding of poverty in Canada. I am grateful for the level of commitment demonstrated by all those who participated and am honoured to help turn results of this engagement process into positive change as we develop a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy. It is by working together that we can make a difference in reducing poverty in our communities, and help all Canadians have a real and fair chance to succeed.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Quick Facts

  • ESDC engaged with more than 8,000 Canadians from across the country. This included:
    • more than 1,950 emails and online submissions;
    •  community-led engagement sessions with over 600 Canadians in nine different provinces and territories;
    • 13 Government of Canada officials-led sessions;
    • 12 roundtables with stakeholders and four roundtables with Indigenous leadership;
    • 4 public town hall events (one of which was broadcast live via Facebook);
    • the Tackling Poverty Together Project, an in-depth study of poverty in six communities across Canada, reached over 5,500 Canadians;
    • 64 submissions received through the #ReducePoverty in Canada youth contest and
    • a National Poverty Conference with approximately 150 stakeholders from across the country.

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Émilie Gauduchon-Campbell
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada


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