Poverty Costs 2.0: Investing in Albertans is a report by Vibrant Communities Calgary (VCC) and Action to End Poverty in Alberta (AEPA) meant as a follow-up to the report titled Poverty Costs: An Economic Case for a Preventative Poverty Reduction Strategy in Alberta, released in February 2012, and written by Alexa Briggs and Celia Lee. From the start of the Poverty Costs project we conceived of a follow-up report to propose evidence-informed ideas for solving poverty. Where the Poverty Costs report demonstrated economic costs of poverty to all of us, Poverty Costs 2.0: Investing in Albertans is about sharing great ideas to help us invest in lasting solutions to poverty. This report now contains over 60 recommendations meant to inform the Government of Alberta's Ministry of Human Services as they undertake the creation of a provincial poverty reduction strategy.
As we embarked on the process of writing Poverty Costs 2.0, the author first looked to the Government of Alberta's Social Policy Framework, to which over 30,000 Albertans contributed. The issues that appeared to be the most relevant to Albertans were those that we explored further and gave most attention to in Poverty Costs 2.0. These included affordable housing, income subsidization and replacement, and early childhood development. Furthermore, it focused our attention on critical subpopulations who are disproportionately impacted by poverty: lone parents, Indigenous Peoples, immigrants and people with disabilities. For specific input, we consulted with key leaders, predominantly Albertans, with an in-depth understanding of the impacts of poverty and its root causes. These consultations resulted in written contributions that we have included on our website. Further conversations were held with dozens of other interested and informed Albertans whose knowledge, opinions and feedback was critical in ensuring the accuracy of the report.
The entire process was overseen by a Stewardship Committee of three dedicated, core individuals; Liz Weaver, Vice-President of the Tamarack Institute and Lead Coach of Vibrant Communities, Sherri Torjman, Vice President of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, and Peter Faid, Social Policy Consultant and former Executive Director of the Edmonton Social Planning Council.