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Contribute the the creation of Canada’s first poverty line

11-15-18

Contribute to Canada’s First Official Poverty Line

From now until January 31, 2019, Statistics Canada is conducting a consultation on the Market Basket Measure, the tool that will be used as Canada’s first official poverty line.

Did you know that Canada has never had a single measure by which we monitor progress on poverty? With the launch of Canada’s first national poverty reduction strategy, Opportunity for All, this year, that is going to change. The Market Basket Measure (MBM) is a tool that uses the cost of a basket of goods and services that households require to meet their “basic needs” to determine a poverty rate.

There are benefits and drawbacks to using the MBM as Canada’s official poverty line— the MBM is an absolute measure of poverty, rather than a relative one that bases poverty off of median incomes in Canada and provides different measures for communities across Canada, so we’re not treating the cost of living in Toronto and Nunvaut as the same.

At the same time, the MBM is not internationally comparable and has been criticized for not giving a realistic picture of what is needed and how much it costs to live a life of dignity. 

Here’s what we do know: Statistics Canada needs to hear from people across the country to build an accurate measure of what it costs to make ends meet and what goods and services, like childcare, transportation, food, and utilities, are critical for everyone. Make sure to contribute to the survey by January 31st!

Participate in the Consultation