Poverty: Most of Canada gets 'D' on record card

Poverty and food insecurity worsened across much of Canada last year, and most provincial governments did not do enough to address the problem, according to a set of just-released report cards.

Food Banks Canada, a national charity based in Mississauga, Ont., gave the federal Liberal government a near-failing grade of D-.

“Most worryingly, all but three provinces are on the verge of failure (an overall score of D-),” the report said.

Food Banks Canada, which works with more than 5,100 food banks and community groups in provinces and territories to alleviate and prevent hunger, released its second annual poverty report on Wednesday. The charity also advocates for long-term policies at all levels of government to tackle poverty and food insecurity. It looks at the overall picture of poverty across the country and compares the progress of various governments.


Most provincial governments in Canada are rated in the D range, with seven out of 10 provinces receiving a D grade for “inadequate approaches to poverty reduction.”

The report card shows that nearly half of respondents (44%) believe they are in a worse financial position compared to last year.

Additionally, the report found that one in four people faces food insecurity and that all jurisdictions except one province fail to provide enough affordable housing.

'It's devastating'

“It's devastating – there are serious needs across the country, but unfortunately we don't have the sense of urgency to deal with what we consider to be an emergency issue and a massive problem across the country,” said Costin. Food Banks Canada CEO Beardsley spoke to CTV News on Wednesday.

Beardsley said despite scoring lower, some provinces are making progress on legislation, including Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. She noted that the province of British Columbia and the federal government have made “significant investments” in housing.

“We hope this momentum continues because there are so many people struggling right now,” she said.

2024 federal, provincial and territorial results

  • Federal Government: D- (lower than the D awarded last year)

  • British Columbia: D+ (same as 2023)

  • Alberta: D- (down from D compared to 2023)

  • North-west region: Not sure (not enough data available)

  • Yukon Territory: Not sure (not enough data available)

  • Nunavut: Not sure (not enough data available)

  • saskatchewan:D- (down from D awarded in 2023)

  • Manitoba: D- (significant decrease from C- awarded in 2023)

  • Ontario: D- (same as 2023)

  • Quebec: C+ (down from B- awarded in 2023)

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: D- (same as 2023)

  • New Brunswick: D- (same as 2023)

  • Nova Scotia: D- (up from F awarded in 2023)

  • prince edward island:C- (up from D+ awarded in 2023)

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