Citizens of Quebec below the poverty line will be happy to hear the recent news from Premier Philippe Couillard. Starting in 2018, Quebecers who make less than $18,000 annually will receive government help as part of a $3 billion action plan to fight poverty and promote “economic inclusion,” according to CBC News.
This plan has many moving pieces, and it has received plentiful criticisms from anti-poverty groups, noting how the plan only focuses on a single sector of citizens below the poverty line in Canada.
Serge Petitclerc, spokesperson for the Collectif pour un Québec sans pauvreté, notes how “limiting [the plan] to a single category of people in Quebec, [is] missing the point. Because one of the primary characteristics of guaranteed minimum income is that it should be unconditional and it should apply to the entire population.”
Although statistics and metrics can hardly quantify the true experience of being below the poverty line, corrective actions must occur in segments if we want gradual change. What constitutes as fair in situations like these is heartbreaking, as someone’s experience dealing with poverty should never be seen as conditional when considering who receives aid.