Canada needs a national anti-poverty plan to ensure a successful future for our country, the National Council of Welfare (NCW) said in a report. The report, "Poverty Profile, 2002 and 2003", shows that in spite of progress made in the fight against poverty among seniors, poverty rates for children and working-age adults are about the same as they were almost a quarter century ago. Income inequality is growing and many groups of Canadians continue to have unacceptably high poverty rates. For those in need today, however, Canada's social safety net offers less protection against poverty than ever before.
The report calls for a long-term plan with clear goals to prevent and reduce poverty and inequality. The plan needs to explore innovative solutions and include a process that involves Canadians living in poverty. It should respect the social and economic rights that Canadians have under international agreements, including the right to an adequate standard of living. To be effective, it must have indicators and targets so that governments and leaders can be held accountable.