QUESTION PERIOD — Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Welcome, Minister Gould. In my question today, I would like to focus on child poverty. You have the mandate, minister, for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through the delivery of Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy. As you are currently reviewing income supports for low-income families and children, what opportunities do you see now to improve the supports for these families?
Thank you very much, Senator Moodie, for the question. As the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, I take particularly seriously the question of child poverty and what we can do. I’m particularly proud to be part of a government that brought forward the Canada Child Benefit. We’ve seen over 300,000 Canadian children lifted out of poverty, and those results are incredible. Of course, there’s still more work to do. There are a couple of initiatives that I’m particularly excited about. The first is the new dental care plan that we will be working on and bringing forward this year to provide dental care for children under 12. I hope that we can all agree that no child in this country should go without dental care. They shouldn’t have to go to the emergency room to get that dental care. So there is something that I’m quite excited about and I think will make a big difference.
The second one that I’m really keen to be working on, in partnership with Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, the Minister of Agriculture, is the national school food policy. Canada is one of the only OECD countries that does not have a national school food policy. So I’m working with her alongside many stakeholders in the country, because we don’t want any child in this country to go to school hungry. We know that when children don’t have enough food in their bellies, they struggle to learn. They struggle to be successful —