Market Basket Measure – StatsCan consultation

Help us validate how we measure poverty

 Dear Sir/Madam,

Statistics Canada has launched a crowdsourcing initiative to validate how we measure poverty. We are seeking your support to increase awareness among your organization’s clients, supporters and stakeholders.

We’ve created a short questionnaire that allows Canadians to provide input on current estimates of how much money a family needs for items like food, clothing, shelter and transportation.

The questionnaire takes no more than five minutes to complete, and will be open to all Canadians from October 15, 2018, to January 31, 2019. Participation is anonymous and respondent information is protected by the Privacy Act.

To ensure strong participation rates, here are some ways to help us spread the word:

  • Add the attached image to your website and link to
  • Inform your clients, supporters and stakeholders using the attached email
  • Follow us on social media and repost our content (a copy of our campaign is attached)

If you have questions, please reply directly to this email.

For more information on this initiative, please visit

Thank you in advance for supporting Statistics Canada’s ability to accurately measure low income and poverty.

Income Statistics Division – Market Basket Measure

Statistics Canada / Government of Canada”

Poverty Trends 2018 – Citizens for Public Justice

The Citizens for Public Justice has issued the report Poverty Trends 2018. Read it here:

Poverty Trends Report 2018

The report identifies several key demographics of people in Canada that have particularly high poverty rates. The rates for provinces and territories and major cities are also put forward.

PFS conference brings attention to poverty issues

The PFS Conference “Be Part of the Solution: Let’s End Poverty” garnered some good in-depth media coverage.

Two Regina Leader Post articles

Affordable housing – RLP Oct 18, 2018

Affordable housing key to ending poverty crisis in Regina, says advocate

Poverty by the numbers – RLP Oct 18, 2018

U of R professor breaks down poverty in Saskatchewan by the numbers

Poverty in Saskatchewan – 2016. Using Official Poverty Line.

New update – a summary of poverty in Saskatchewan using the recently announced federal Official Poverty Line.   In 2016 there were 98,000 persons in poverty in the province for a poverty rate of 9.2 per cent.  Groups with high rates of poverty include children in female lone-parent families, adults aged 18-64 not living in families, Indigenous persons, recent immigrants, and disabled persons.  See the full report at

CWP gives SK Poverty Reduction Plan a failing grade

Canada Without Poverty gives Saskatchewan’s Poverty Reduction Plan a failing grade

Poverty Free Saskatchewan is highlighting a national assessment that shows Saskatchewan is much behind other provinces in its efforts to eliminate poverty.

Canada Without Poverty (CWP) recently issued its annual progress profiles on all Canadian province and territories poverty plans. The 2017 Poverty Progress Profiles report was prepared using a human rights framework with ten success indicators.

In order for a poverty strategy to be based on human rights, CWP says, the plan must meet a number of criteria.

Saskatchewan’s effort in this regard, Taking Action on Poverty: The Saskatchewan Poverty Reduction Strategy, was released by the provincial government in 2016. Its aim was to reduce the number of Saskatchewan people who experience poverty for two years or more by 50 per cent by the end of 2025.

Saskatchewan’s strategy is in compliance with only two of the ten CWP indicators, #2 and #5. It is somewhat in compliance with #6, and not in compliance with the remaining seven.

  1. Ensure human rights training for those involved in developing and implementing the strategy. (*SK – SOMEWHAT*)
  2. Identify and address systemic discrimination and inequality. (*SK – YES*)  
  3. Explicitly refer to human rights obligations. (*SK – NO*)
  4. Be enshrined in the law. (*SK – NO*)
  5. Include representatives of diverse groups experiencing poverty in developing, implementing, and evaluating the strategy. (*SK – YES*)
  6. Set rigorous goals and timelines for achieving identified strategy goals. (*SK – SOMEWHAT*)
  7. Develop transparent mechanisms and indicators to monitor and track progress. (*SK – NO*)
  8. Report annually and publicly on progress. (*SK – NO*)
  9. Be a budget priority. (*SK – NO*)
  10. Create a space for individuals to claim rights and hold their government accountable to the strategy. (*SK – NO*)

CWP also noted that child poverty in Saskatchewan is very high and the poverty level for Indigenous children living off reserve and on reserve is extremely high. The province’s minimum wage is second lowest in Canada. And food insecurity in Northern Saskatchewan is a very serious concern.

The Saskatchewan government has not presented to the public a comprehensive evaluation report on achievement of its poverty reduction goals.

Rising inflation in Saskatchewan & its impact on low-income residents

Saskatchewan saw the largest increase in consumer prices, compared to all other Canadian provinces between December 2016 and December 2017.  A major factor in the increase is thought to be the tax changes implemented with the last provincial budget. This article by the CBC highlights some of the ways that low-income residents in the province have been impacted e.g. a large jump in emergency food basket usage at the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre.

Link to the article:

A thought about government transfers

In 2015 over 100,000 seniors in Sask received Canada Pension Plan or Old Age Assistance. 118,000 families received the Child Benefit. 52,000 received Employment Assistance and 50,000 Social Assistance.
Government transfers are very important to the economic well being of Sask. residents. Our economy would plummet if they were taken away as is happening in the U.S.
We need to protect them.

Advocacy group calls for payday loan reform

From CBC Saskatchewan:

It is expensive to be low-income. Many low-income families turn to payday loans when unexpected circumstances pop up–which can end up charging them effective annual interest rates of up to 600%. The social justice organization ACORN has been calling for governments to force payday loan companies to lower the rates they charge.

Some promising developments:

  • In February 2018, Saskatchewan is going to be setting the maximum borrowing charge on payday loans at 17% (down from 23%).
  • Affinity Credit Union in Saskatchewan has started making “microloans” (small loans which can be paid back over a period of to 2 years) available to customers who would normally turn to payday loans.

Link to article: