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Report Calls for Federal Poverty Reduction Plan

Summary: 
Conservative MPs approved a report that recommends a national poverty reduction strategy that would address the poverty experienced by people with disabilities. Recommendations address issues such as the Disability Tax Credit, the Opportunities Fund and Labour Market Agreement allocations.

Read the news report here.

Read the report, entitled:

FEDERAL POVERTY REDUCTION PLAN: WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP TOWARDS REDUCING POVERTY IN CANADA

Highlights of Recommendations:

Recommendation 3.1.1

The Committee recommends that the federal government immediately commit to a federal action plan to reduce poverty in Canada that would see, during its first phase, the implementation of the recommendations in this report.

This action plan should incorporate a human rights framework and provide for consultations with the provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal governments and organizations, the public and private sector, and people living in poverty, as needed, to ensure an improvement in lives of impoverished people.

The action plan should be reviewed every five years and should follow a three-step process: consultation, revision, and reporting to Parliament.

Recommendation 4.2.5

The Committee recommends that the federal government create a federal basic income program for persons with disabilities and support a disability-related supports program to be delivered by the provinces and territories.

Recommendation 4.2.6

As a first step in addressing the needs of the poorest of Canadians with severe disabilities, the Committee recommends that the federal government amend the Income Tax Act to make the Disability Tax Credit a refundable credit and ensure that new federal benefits for persons with disabilities are not clawed back from those receiving social assistance payments.

Recommendation 4.2.7

The Committee recommends that the federal government increase funding for the Opportunities Fund; expand the terms and conditions of this program to support effective long-term interventions and skills development opportunities, especially with respect to essential skills training; and take concrete steps to raise awareness and promote the program to potential clients, employers and service providers.

Recommendation 4.2.8

The Committee recommends that the federal government include specific allocations and targets for persons with disabilities in Labour Market Agreements and Labour Market Development Agreements.

Recommendation 4.2.9

The Committee recommends that the federal government invest infrastructure funds in accessible and affordable public transportation so as to ensure that all Canadians with or without disabilities, no matter where they live, have access to transportation.

Recommendation 5.2.3

The Committee recommends that the federal government ensure that the measures announced in Budget 2009 for the construction of social housing units for low-income seniors, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, and areas of the North are promptly delivered. The housing situation of these target groups should be monitored closely, and the need for more funding should be assessed regularly.

Recommendation 5.2.5

The Committee recommends that the federal government, in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, municipalities, service providers and other stakeholders, develop a comprehensive, long-term national housing strategy. The strategy should address the problem of homelessness, as well as the need for adequate and affordable housing in Canada, with the goal of providing a range of housing solutions to meet the needs of Canada’s diverse population. It should provide for sustained funding to tackle these issues and include measurable goals, timelines, and accountability mechanisms.

Recommendation 6.2.5

The Committee recommends that the federal government increase the budget for social economy initiatives and that this increased funding be used to promote job creation among low-income individuals, especially those who face serious barriers finding and securing a job.