The Poverty Reduction Strategy announced by the federal government last month proposes that a Canadian poverty line be set for the first time and be enshrined in legislation. The goal is to reduce the poverty rate by 20 per cent by 2020, and by 50 per cent by 2030.

Ottawa has decided that the new official poverty line should be the Market Basket Measure, or MBM. This choice can be questioned on several grounds and has the potential to divert policy attention away from the needs of low-income seniors.