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Important Survey on How Canada Measures Poverty: Jan 31 deadline

An important consultation is happening right now on the way that Canada measures poverty.

The federal government has said that it will make the Market Basket Measure (MBM) Canada’s official poverty line, and will use the MBM to measure its progress on meeting its poverty reduction goals.

But if the MBM isn’t set up properly from the start, we won’t get a true measure of poverty and the government’s tracking of poverty progress will be skewed.

Even worse, many programs for low-income people across the country use poverty measures to set income eligibility levels. An artificially low MBM will limit the number of people who can access these programs.

Our partners at Dignity for All have put together an important tool to help people respond to the MBM consultation.

Please see the email below for more information, and respond to the survey before January 31!


Dear Colleagues,

As you may be aware, Statistics Canada has launched an online survey on Canada’s new poverty measure, the Market Basket Measure (MBM).

Many individuals and organizations are concerned that, since this requires Statistics Canada to estimate the cost of these items, there is a potential that this will be done in a way that does not reflect actual costs and the resulting poverty rate will not capture many in Canada living in poverty.

The consequence of getting the MBM wrong has serious implications, particularly for access to services including food banks, housing services, and income support programs.

We are writing to urge our colleagues and partners to take ten minutes to fill out Statistics Canada’s survey on the MBM. The deadline to fill out the survey is January 31, 2019. To help you along, we’ve created the attached two-pager document on the MBM along with some tips as you fill out the survey.

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. If you have any questions, please contact Michèle Biss is or Darlene O’Leary at

Have a great afternoon,

Michèle, Darlene, and the Dignity for All Team


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