Poverty in Canada, Second Edition

Implications for Health and Quality of Life

Table of contents

Foreword to the Second Edition
Rob Rainer

Foreword to the First Edition
Jack Layton


Part I: Defining and Measuring Povery in Canada

Chapter One: Poverty and the Modern Welfare State

Chapter Two: Canadian Perspectives on Poverty

Chapter Three: Who Is Poor in Canada?

Chapter Four: Making Sense of Poverty: Social Inequality and Social Exclusion

Part II: The Experience of Poverty

Chapter Five: Pathways to Poverty

Chapter Six: The Lived Experience of Poverty

Chapter Seven: Interactions with the Social Assistance and Health Care Systems

Part III: Poverty, Health, and Quality of Life

Chapter Eight: Poverty and Health

Chapter Nine: Poverty and Health: Mechanisms and Pathways

Chapter Ten: Poverty and Quality of Life

Part IV: Politics, Public Policy, and Poverty

Chapter Eleven: The Politics of Poverty

Chapter Twelve: Canadian Public Policy and Poverty in International Perspective

Chapter Thirteen: Anti-poverty Strategies and Programs

Chapter Fourteen: Poverty and the Future of the Canadian Welfare State

Copyright Acknowledgements


This book is unlike any other. Poverty in Canada provides a unique, interdisciplinary perspective on poverty and its importance to the health and quality of life of Canadians. This volume considers a range of issues that will be of great interest to a variety of audiences – those studying or working in Community and Developmental Psychology, Education, Health Promotion, Health Studies and Health Sciences, Medicine and Nursing, Political Science and Policy Studies, Public Health, Social Work, and Sociology, as well as the general public.

Central issues include: the definitions of poverty and means of measuring it in wealthy, industrialized nations such as Canada; the causes of poverty – both situational and societal; the health and social implications of poverty for individuals, communities, and society as a whole; and the means of reducing its incidence and responding to its effects. Particular emphasis has been placed on the lived experiences of poverty throughout the book.

This second edition has been thoroughly updated and features a new chapter on anti-poverty programs, updated data on poverty rates and information on newly developed Canadian measures of deprivation, and an extended discussion of what Canadians can do to first reduce – and then eliminate – poverty in Canada.


"This text makes the concept of the social determinants of health come alive. There is no parallel Canadian treatment of the cumulative range of this material. "
— ?Harvey Frankel, Dean, Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba