February 24, 2016

Government Releases Poverty Reduction Strategy

The Government of Saskatchewan today released a strategy that will guide efforts to reduce poverty in the province.  The Saskatchewan Poverty Reduction Strategy contains a number of initiatives that will benefit those affected by poverty and aims to reduce the number of residents who experience poverty for two years or more by 50 per cent by the end of 2025.

“The Saskatchewan Poverty Reduction Strategy is an important document that will guide us as we work to improve the circumstances for low-income Saskatchewan citizens,” Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer said.  “Although Saskatchewan has one of the lowest rates of poverty in the country, our government knows that there is more work to do.  We will work with community-based organizations, the Federal Government, and individuals across the province to ensure that there are supports and services available to help citizens improve their quality of life and find a way out of poverty.”

“The Saskatchewan Poverty Reduction Strategy is an investment into the future success of our province’s most vulnerable citizens,” EGADZ Executive Director Don Meikle said.  “I am excited to see that our province is taking steps to support individuals living in poverty while providing opportunities for those who want a better life for themselves and their family.”

In addition to improving communication and teamwork amongst government and communities, the Saskatchewan Poverty Reduction Strategy focuses on six key areas for action:

  1. Income security
  2. Housing and homelessness
  3. Early childhood development and child care
  4. Education, skills training and employment
  5. Health and food security
  6. Vulnerable families and individuals

Early efforts will focus on:

  • Implementing a Ministry of Education Early Years Plan;
  • initiating a redesign of the Ministry of Social Services’ Income Assistance programs and services; and
  • expanding housing for “hard to house” individuals to support their integration into the community.

“In addition to these early efforts, we will be focusing on developing an implementation plan that will contain more detail, as well as additional targets, measures, and plans for reporting out,” Harpauer said.  “The Strategy will remain a living document as we work toward our goal of reducing poverty in Saskatchewan.”

The Saskatchewan Poverty Reduction Strategy was developed based on recommendations from the Advisory Group on Poverty Reduction.  The Advisory Group reviewed past and ongoing initiatives that address poverty and identified gaps where further action was required.  The Advisory Group was composed of six community members and five representatives from across government, including the Ministries of Social Services, Economy, Education, Health, Justice, and Corrections and Policing.

The Strategy is available at www.saskatchewan.ca.