On December 13, 2007, An Act to Establish a Poverty Reduction Working Group, was passed unanimously by the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. A Poverty Reduction Working Group was then created to provide recommendations to the Government of Nova Scotia on the creation of a poverty reduction strategy.
The Nova Scotia government released its Poverty Reduction Strategy on April 3, 2009, Preventing Poverty. Promoting Prosperity. Nova Scotia's Poverty Reduction Strategy.
“The vision for 2020: to break the cycle of poverty by creating opportunities for all Nova Scotians to participate in the prosperity of the province and enjoy a better standard of living.”
The four main goals of the strategy are:
- Enable and reward work
- Improve supports for those in need
- Focus on our children
- Collaborate and coordinate
To achieve these goals the plan includes the creation of a poverty reduction committee and coordinator to enhance collaboration and coordination, investments in training opportunities and housing, increases to income assistance, expansion of the Nova Scotia child benefit and the creation of more subsidized child-care spaces.
Budget & Accountability
The plan builds on government investments of almost $200 million in programs over the past three years with an additional $155 million in new investments towards programs that help reduce poverty.
To ensure accountability the Poverty Reduction Working Group is responsible for establishing benchmarks and measures and periodically reporting on the progress of the poverty-reduction strategy.
The adoption of a poverty reduction strategy by the Nova Scotia government represents a step in the right direction. However, the plan has been critiqued for lacking targets to measure meaningful progress. It will take continued pressure from the population to ensure that Nova Scotia’s strategy is a success.
Nova Scotia is doing its part to address poverty but the provinces and territories need federal support to significantly reduce and ultimately eliminate poverty in Canada. That’s why we’re calling on Canada to adopt a national poverty-reduction strategy.
Support a National Poverty Reduction Strategy
The Cost of Poverty in Nova Scotia - written by Angella MacEwan and Christine Saulnier, released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Nova Scotia Office (CCPA-NS). This report puts numbers to the cost of poverty in Nova Scotia.