Assented to 2019-06-21
An Act respecting the reduction of poverty
Whereas Canada aspires to be a world leader in the eradication of poverty;
Whereas poverty reduction contributes to meeting Canada’s international human rights obligations, including under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women;
And whereas the progress made by Canada in the reduction of poverty contributes to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Marginal note:Short title
2 The following definitions apply in this Act.
Council means the National Advisory Council on Poverty established under section 9. (Conseil)
Minister means the member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada designated under section 4. (ministre)
- Official Poverty Line
Official Poverty Line means the Market Basket Measure, as published by Statistics Canada under the authority of the Statistics Act. (seuil officiel de la pauvreté)
3 The purpose of the Act is to support continuous efforts in, and continuous monitoring of, poverty reduction in Canada.
Designation of Minister
Marginal note:Order in council
4 The Governor in Council may, by order, designate a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada to be the Minister for the purposes of this Act.
Poverty Reduction Strategy
Marginal note:Strategy development and implementation
5 The Minister must develop and implement a poverty reduction strategy.
Marginal note:Poverty reduction targets
6 The targets for poverty reduction in Canada to which the Government of Canada aspires are the following:
(a) 20% below the level of poverty in 2015 by 2020; and
(b) 50% below the level of poverty in 2015 by 2030.
Official Poverty Line and Other Metrics
Marginal note:Official metric
7 (1) The Official Poverty Line is Canada’s official metric to measure the level of poverty in Canada and to assess progress in meeting the targets set out in section 6.
(2) The Official Poverty Line is to be reviewed, on a regular basis as determined by Statistics Canada, to ensure that it reflects the up-to-date cost of a basket of goods and services representing a modest, basic standard of living in Canada.
Marginal note:Other metrics
8 (1) The metrics set out in the schedule are to be used, in addition to the Official Poverty Line, to measure the level of poverty in Canada.
Marginal note:Amendment of schedule
(2) The Governor in Council may, by order, amend the schedule by adding or deleting a metric.
National Advisory Council on Poverty
9 (1) A council is established, to be known as the National Advisory Council on Poverty, consisting of 8 to 10 members, including a Chairperson and a member with particular responsibilities for children’s issues.
Marginal note:Deputy Minister — ex officio member
(2) The Deputy Minister of the department for which the Minister is responsible is ex officio a member of the Council.
Marginal note:Appointment of other members
(3) The members of the Council, other than the ex officio member, are to be appointed by the Governor in Council to hold office during pleasure for a term not exceeding three years and are eligible for reappointment on the expiry of a first or subsequent term of office.
Marginal note:Full-time or part-time membership
(4) The Chairperson is to be appointed as a full-time member and the other members are to be appointed as either full-time members or part-time members.
Marginal note:Chairperson’s role
(5) The Chairperson has supervision over and direction of the work of the Council.
Marginal note:Chairperson absent or unable to act
(6) If the Chairperson is absent or unable to act or if the office of Chairperson is vacant, the Minister may designate another member of the Council to act as Chairperson, but that member may act as Chairperson for a period of more than 90 days only with the approval of the Governor in Council.
(7) The members of the Council, other than the ex officio member, are to be paid, in connection with their work for the Council, the remuneration that may be fixed by the Governor in Council.
Marginal note:Travel and living expenses
(8) The members of the Council are entitled to be reimbursed for the travel, living and other expenses incurred, in connection with their work for the Council, while absent from, in the case of full-time members, their ordinary place of work or, in the case of part-time members, their ordinary place of residence.
Marginal note:Deemed employment
(9) The members of the Council are deemed to be employees for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act and to be employed in the federal public administration for the purposes of any regulations made under section 9 of the Aeronautics Act. Full-time members are also deemed to be employed in the public service for the purposes of the Public Service Superannuation Act.
10 The Council must
(a) provide advice to the Minister on poverty reduction in Canada, including with respect to programs, funding and activities that support poverty reduction;
(b) undertake consultations with the public, including the academic community and other experts, Indigenous persons and persons with lived experience in poverty;
(c) within six months after the end of each fiscal year, submit a report to the Minister
(i) on the progress being made in meeting the targets referred to in section 6 and the progress being made in poverty reduction measured by, among other things, the metrics set out in the schedule, and
(ii) on the advice that the Council provided to the Minister under paragraph (a) during the fiscal year; and
(d) undertake any activity specified by the Minister.
Marginal note:Dissolution of Council
11 The Governor in Council may, by order, dissolve the Council, on the recommendation of the Minister made after the Minister is of the opinion that the level of poverty in Canada has been reduced by 50% below the level of poverty in 2015.
Tabling of Report in Parliament
Marginal note:Minister’s duty
12 The Minister must cause the report referred to in paragraph 10(c) to be tabled in each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the Minister receives the report.
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