Nobody chooses to live in poverty. However, sometimes circumstances arise that result in
individuals and families trying to live their lives on a very low income. Although there have
always been anti-poverty advocates trying to prevent and alleviate poverty at the
provincial and federal level, there has been a recent push for municipalities to get involved
in these activities as well.
Municipalities are not a party of their own right under Canada’s constitution, and
are instead governed by the provinces. Each province has passed one or more Municipal
Government Act that set out the powers and responsibilities for municipalities within their
jurisdiction. As such, cities are extremely limited in their powers to both collect revenue,
and redistribute income. These limitations need to be taken into account when policies for
poverty-reduction are being considered.