Alberta Poverty Progress Profile 2016


Alberta is one of the wealthiest provinces in Canada; however, rising inequality, expensive childcare, and high unemployment have created a climate where poverty is a pressing concern for many. Before the economic downturn, Vibrant Communities Calgary estimated that poverty cost Alberta $7.1-9.5 billion per year in 2013. Since this estimate was calculated, measurements show an increase of 4,670 economic families in poverty from 2013 to 2014. Additionally, other indicators such as the 17.6% rise in food bank usage since 2015,2 demonstrate that poverty rates in the province have increased since the cost of poverty was determined. 

In June 2013, the government announced the release of a discussion paper entitled, Together We Raise Tomorrow: Alberta's poverty reduction strategy. Since the release of the discussion paper, progress on the poverty strategy has been slow to hit the ground. However, a recent re-commitment in the province’s 2016 budget marked that the strategy was in development.

Municipal plans to reduce poverty and eliminate homelessness in Alberta have seen more activity. The city of Calgary, for example, intends to cut the poverty rate by 50% by 2023. Currently, 1 in 10 people in Calgary live in poverty, 1 in 5 are concerned about food security, and 1 in 3 are concerned about being able to afford housing.3 Similarly, 12% of people in Edmonton live in poverty, including 33,000 children.

Publication date: 
Dec 2016
Canada Without Poverty
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