Understanding Systems: The 2021 report of the National Advisory Council on Poverty

Canada’s National Advisory Council on Poverty’s second Annual Report, Understanding Systems, is the first report to provide a glimpse into poverty since COVID-19.

Based on community engagements with Canadians and provinces/territories over the last year, the Council has recommended five broad strategies to reduce poverty in Canada.

The pillars of the strategy are as follows:

  1. Indigenous prosperity
  2. Equity
  3. Dignity
  4. Prevention and early intervention
  5. Income from employment and government benefits

In a recent webinar, three Council members shared what strategies can make the greatest impact. Read more to learn about the key takeaways from the discussion.



RESPs and education incentives for children in care – toolkit for public primary caregivers

The Canada Education Savings Program (CESP) recently developed a Toolkit for Public Primary Caregivers to help child welfare organizations open Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) and access the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) for children in care.

Most children in care automatically qualify for the CLB, but too many of them are missing out on the CLB. As public primary caregivers in receipt of the Children’s Special Allowance, most child welfare organizations can open RESPs and request the CLB for children in their care.

The Toolkit explains the process for accessing federal education savings incentives from the perspective of a public primary caregiver. It explains how to get Social Insurance Numbers for children in care, how to open and manage an RESP, what to do with the account when a child is adopted or ages out of care, and how to access the money when the youth enrols in post-secondary education. It also includes an infographic for quick reference.



Le Programme canadien pour l'épargne-études (PCEE) a récemment élaboré une Trousse d’outils pour les responsables publics pour aider les organismes de protection de l'enfance à ouvrir des régimes enregistrés d'épargne-études (REEE) et à accéder au Bon d'études canadien (BEC) pour les enfants pris en charge.

La plupart des enfants pris en charge sont automatiquement admissibles au BEC, mais trop d'entre eux ne bénéficient pas du BEC. En tant que responsables publics recevant l'allocation spéciale pour enfants, la plupart des organismes de protection de l'enfance peuvent ouvrir des REEE et demander le BEC pour les enfants dont ils ont la charge.

EDSC_EnfantsPrisEnCharge_REEETroussedoutils.pdf  explique le processus d'accès aux incitatifs fédéraux à l'épargne-études du point de vue d'un responsable public. Elle explique comment obtenir un numéro d'assurance sociale pour les enfants pris en charge, comment ouvrir et gérer un REEE, ce qu'il faut faire avec le compte lorsque l'enfant est adopté ou cesse d'être pris en charge, et comment accéder à l'argent lorsque le jeune s'inscrit à des études postsecondaires. Il comprend également une infographie pour une consultation rapide.



Canada Learning Bond – Get $500 for your child’s future

This two-page brochure describes the benefits of acting now to receive $500 to help start saving for a child's education after high school. The brochure is also available in the following Indigenous languages:



Evaluation of the Guaranteed Income Supplement

The Old Age Security program is the largest statutory program of the Government of Canada, and consists of the Old Age Security pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and the Allowance. The Guaranteed Income Supplement is provided to low-income seniors aged 65 years and over who receive the Old Age Security pension and are below a low-income cut-off level.

This evaluation examines take-up of the Guaranteed Income Supplement by various socioeconomic groups, the characteristics of those who are eligible for the Supplement but do not receive it, and barriers faced by vulnerable groups.

Enhancing access to the Canada Learning Bond


This discussion paper responds to a request from ESDC to develop options for reforms to the Canada Education Savings Program and, more specifically to improve access to the Canada Learning Bond. It reviews individual and institutional challenges to participation in the current system and consider three approaches for reform. It presents a case study of the United Kingdom’s Child Trust Fund, which included an auto-enrolment default mechanism. It concludes that the model used in the UK is not suitable for Canada and instead make a series of recommendations for both incremental and more ambitious reforms to fulfill the Government’s commitment to improve access to the Bond.




The Old Age Security program toolkit


The Old Age Security program toolkit – Your complete guide to Canada’s Old Age Security program.

Pre-Budget Tour: The State of the Middle Class

Canada Education Savings Program: Annual Statistical Review – 2013

Canada Education Savings Program (CESP): Summative Evaluation Report