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Cities Reducing Poverty Quarterly Policy Digest: May 2018

Posted on May 11, 2018
By Adam Vasey

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Cities Reducing Poverty Policy Digest. The Digest aims to provide you with timely poverty-related policy updates and resources from across Canada. 

National Policy Updates:

Provincial and Territorial Policy Updates:

  • On October 1, Alberta’s general minimum wage will rise $1.40 to $15 per hour, which will be the highest minimum wage in Canada.
British Columbia:
New Brunswick:
  • Applications for the Government of New Brunswick’s $400 Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit are now available. Read the news release.

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Budget 2018 includes investments of $56 million for the Seniors’ Benefit and $65 million for the Income Supplement. In 2017, 47,000 seniors received the Seniors’ Benefit and 155,000 families received the Income Supplement. Budget 2018 also included an additional $2 million toward the Rent Supplement Program, and over $10 million for maintenance, repair and upkeep of public housing.  
Nova Scotia:
  • In its Budget 2018-19, the Government of Nova Scotia announced $4 million for initiatives under the Blueprint to End Poverty. It also announced that it will double the poverty reduction credit from $250 to $500.
  • The Halifax Regional Municipality and United Way Halifax have released a community report, Building Poverty Solutions: Ideas for Action, which contains 129 short- and long-term actions that can be taken on poverty.  
Northwest Territories:


 Prince Edward Island:

  • Prince Edward Island’s new Poverty Reduction Advisory Council will advise the Government as it develops a Poverty Reduction Action Plan for the province. Read more on the Advisory Council in the blog by Tamarack’s Justin Williams. Read the province’s discussion paper on poverty reduction.



  • Saskatchewan’s provincial budget, released in April, includes increased spending on social services and health. As of July 1, however, the province will stop taking applications for the Saskatchewan Rental Housing Supplement, as it plans to replace it by a program co-developed with the federal government. Clients enrolled prior to July 1, 2018 will continue to receive benefits. 

 Yukon Territory

  • Yukon Territory’s Employment Standards Board is currently conducting a review of Yukon’s minimum wage, which is currently $11.51 per hour. Yukon’s Employment Standards Board is expected to make their recommendations to the Minister of Community Services in Fall 2018. The last review of Yukon’s minimum wage took place in 2012.

 Policy Reports and Resources:

Policy, Social Policy, Adam Vasey, Poverty Reduction, Cities Reducing Poverty

Adam Vasey

By Adam Vasey

Adam is Director of Policy, Learning & Evaluation with the Tamarack Institute's Vibrant Communities team. He is passionate about reducing poverty and building equitable, inclusive communities through policy and systems change. Prior to joining Tamarack, Adam spent eight years as Director of Pathway to Potential, the Windsor-Essex poverty reduction strategy.

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