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Statement by the Prime Minister on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty:

“Today, on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, we reflect on the progress we have made as a global community to end poverty. We also acknowledge the work that remains to improve the well-being of people in Canada and around the world.

“This year’s theme is ‘Building Forward Together: Ending Persistent Poverty, Respecting all People and our Planet.’ The COVID-19 pandemic has put at risk decades of progress made to end poverty worldwide. As we rebuild from a once-in-a-century crisis, this theme urges us to work together – including with those living in persistent poverty – to end poverty in all forms through strategies that protect human rights and ensure that no one is left behind.

“Reducing poverty is a priority for the Government of Canada. That is why we introduced Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy, which sets ambitious and concrete poverty reduction targets. We are making long-term investments to support seniors, increase housing options, provide clean water, improve transportation, and provide skills development and training to address multiple dimensions of poverty. We introduced the Canada Child Benefit and are moving forward on establishing Canada-wide $10-a-day child care to make life more affordable for families and increase women’s participation in the workforce, while creating new jobs and driving strong economic growth. We are also working with provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and community groups to reduce poverty across the country. Over 1.3 million Canadians have been lifted out of poverty since 2015, and we remain committed to reducing poverty by 50 per cent by the end of the decade.

“While we have made progress in our efforts to reduce poverty, COVID-19 has put this progress at risk everywhere. To help keep Canadians safe and weather the socio-economic impacts of this pandemic, we have provided $350 billion in support to Canadians and Canadian businesses during this difficult time, including $290 billion in direct support measures. We will continue to provide support to Canadians as long as we deal with this pandemic. Budget 2021 included over $100 billion over three years in investments as part of the Government of Canada’s growth plan that will create good jobs and support a resilient and inclusive recovery. These investments will help us finish the fight against COVID-19 and heal the wounds left by the COVID-19 recession by creating an economy that is more innovative, more inclusive, and more competitive.

“Canada is working at home and abroad to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and build a more peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous world for all. Since last year, Canada has committed over $2.6 billion in international assistance to fight COVID-19 around the world. Canada’s international assistance helps address humanitarian needs caused by the pandemic and other crises, and helps support developing countries’ recovery and resilience. Guided by our Feminist International Assistance Policy, we work closely with our international partners to reduce poverty and inequality, and address the unique challenges faced by women and girls.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I invite Canadians to join me in thanking all those who work tirelessly every day to help lift others out of hardship, and to take this opportunity to recommit ourselves to eradicating poverty in our lifetime. Together, we can end poverty, here in Canada and around the world.”