Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot for giving me the opportunity to talk about poverty in Canada.
This gives us a chance as a government to discuss the first-ever poverty reduction strategy in the country, and we need to do that. Poverty affects all of us, regardless of the socio-economic circumstance in which we find ourselves.
Poverty affects all of us.
It affects children, seniors, Canadians with disabilities, men, women, visible minorities and recent immigrants as well as indigenous people. The unfortunate thing about poverty is that it does not discriminate.
Our first-ever poverty reduction strategy commits to reducing real poverty by 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2030. However, these numbers are never going to be good enough until they reach 100% . Until it is entirely eliminated in this country, no government has the right, let alone the opportunity, to rest on its laurels. It has to work harder. We have to eliminate poverty in this country, in particular for the issue that was raised by the member and my colleague opposite, the poverty that confronts children. No child in this country, or on this planet in fact, should live in poverty. We are committed to finding and using every tool of government to eradicate poverty wherever we find it in this country and to work with the leadership of affected communities to make sure that, whether they are living in rural Canada, on the coasts of Canada, in the centre, in the cities or in rural communities or self-governing reserves in provinces or territories, we work together to eliminate poverty.
The opportunity for all program builds on a number of the flagship measures this government has implemented and invested in since the day we took office. We have made significant investments for children, seniors, low-wage workers and other Canadians who find themselves living in vulnerable circumstances.
For example, the Canada child benefit has helped to lift more than half a million people, including 300,000 children, out of poverty in Canada. Single mothers have seen their poverty rates decline by 30% since 2015. In the city I represent, the city of Toronto, which has one of the highest rates of child poverty in Canada, 52% of single mother-led households are now living above the poverty line as a result of investments we have made directly in their lives, in their children's lives, in the housing system, in the transit system, in the day care system and the health care system. We have made a profound difference, but we are not at zero. Until we are at zero, we have work to do and sleeves to roll up.
We have also introduced the guaranteed income supplement, which targets single seniors, primarily women. For women who did not earn enough in the workplace and were discriminated against historically in this country over generations, we have made sure that their Canada pension plan and guaranteed income supplement are boosted to help lift them out of poverty as well.
There is now the Canada workers benefit.
As well, we have made a series of other investments, including a $55 billion investment in the national housing strategy, which aims to lift 500,000 Canadians out of core housing need within the next 10 years.
We are making progress beyond, I think, even the expectations of the parties opposite. We have made substantial progress. However, as I said, the work must continue. I can assure the member opposite the work will continue, because even though we have hit our 2020 targets a year early, that does not mean we cannot get to 2030 even sooner.