There has been little discussion in this election about one of the most vulnerable groups of people in our society – people living in financial poverty. It is essential that political leaders have a plan to address poverty, because for all of us to thrive, we must attend to the basic needs of each Canadian. (Note the clarification that I’m writing about financial poverty, because clearly people who are economically poor, can be rich in spirit, in culture or in other ways.)
It is important to highlight that poverty does not occur in isolation: most individuals or families living in poverty also belong to another socially vulnerable group. For instance, 21 percent of single mothers, 15 percent of people with disabilities and 15 percent of elderly single individuals live in poverty. Indigenous peoples are overrepresented in the population living with financial poverty, just as they are overrepresented among the homeless in nearly every urban centre in Canada.