Poverty remains a pressing problem in Canada and around the world. In Canada, there is much debate about how much poverty exists and how poverty should be defined. Estimates of the percentage of the population living in poverty range from about 5% to 11%, depending on the metric used. While the extent of poverty varies, its impacts are felt most by single parent families, aboriginal people, people who are chronically unemployed or underemployed, people who are mentally ill, students, physically handicapped people and new immigrants.
In Canada, poverty is lessened by a range of government programs and policies: universal health care, universal education, minimum wages, welfare and old age security, among others. But it isn’t enough. We may not be able to eliminate poverty entirely (Jesus tells us that the poor are always with us) but Christians can do better to love our neighbours as ourselves and to care for the poor and vulnerable, as so much of the Bible exhorts us to do.
The following resources might help get you started.