As part of its National Strategy to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion, in 2002, the Government of Québec became the first province or territory to legislate poverty reduction as it unanimously passed an Act to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion. The law has been praised for its comprehensiveness and for defining poverty as more than just low income, including lack of “means, choices and power” as poverty indicators. A broad based provincial coalition of individuals and community organizations, the Collective for a Poverty Free Quebec, was vital to getting the law passed as they created a massive petition to support the government’s proposed law, and held public consultations throughout the process. In 2004, the Government of Québec followed up with its first poverty action plan entitled Reconciling Freedom and Social Justice: A Challenge for the Future. In 2010, the Government of Québec released the Government Action Plan for Solidarity and Social Inclusion 2010-2015.
In December 2017, two years after the second plan expired, the Government of Québec launched Government Action Plan to Foster Economic Inclusion and Social Participation 2017-2023. The plan seeks to lift 100,000 people out of poverty and provide a basic income for those with severely limited capacity for employment. In addition, investments will be made in a variety of areas, namely last-resort financial assistance, food security, training and employment, and daycare services.
In June 2017, after extensive consultation with women’s groups and the non-profit sector, the Government of Québec unveiled Together for Equality: Government Strategy for Gender Equality Toward 2021. Over 20 government ministries and agencies will be involved in implementing this five-year gender equality strategy.