Québec Poverty Reduction

CURA Research Findings

Yves Vaillancourt & Lucie Dumais Laboratoire de recherche sur les pratiques et les politiques sociales, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

December 2nd, 2014

Areas of research for CURA

  • Act to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion
  • Income Security & Work in a Social Investment State (passive & active measures)
  • Disability Costs

Context – Legislation and policy

  • Loi visant à lutter contre la pauvreté et l'exclusion sociale (2002) ou Loi 112

    "The object of this Act is to guide the Government and Québec society as a whole towards a process of planning and implementing actions to combat poverty, prevent its causes, reduce its effects on individuals and families, counter social exclusion and strive towards a poverty-free Quebec."

  • À part entière (2009)

1. Act to combat poverty : Action plans (2004-)

Plan 2004-2009

  • Good for families
  • Not so good for adults, immig., disabled

Plan 2010-2015

  • Review process locally
  • Sustain work incentives
  • Sustain income security

2. Income security & Social participation (2006- ) Measures for people w. disability


  • Full indexation
  • Benefits (2011):
    • $918/month for adult w. disability


  • Network of subsidized community services
    • $150/month (comm. ser.)
    • $130/month (adult)

Work incentives for people w. disability (2008-)


  • Budgets up
  • Refundable tax credits ($1025 /yr)
  • Higher min. wage ($9.65 /hr; $10.35 in 2014)


  • Part-time work
  • No claim booklet if mo. income > $1,500
  • Information (lack of)

More and less optimistic informants

In specialized employment services → A more optimistic overview

  • Measures help people find work and upgrade their financial situation

In disability rights associations → A less optimistic overview

  • Measures do not really have impact on everyday life, at work or at home.

3. Disability costs in Québec

Research funded by OPHQ (2012-2014)

  • Housing, Health Care, Transportation = Most often reported categories of supp. costs
  • Variations across types of disability
  • "The less you earn, the lower the costs"
  • Loss of long-term opportunities (not measured)
  • 'General costs' and 'specific costs'

Examples of disability costs reported by informants

  • Some informants not affected by supp. costs
  • Many cut down on certain expenses
    • Mylène, 40, blindness & chronic disease, 2 part-t. jobs, cut down on house repairs & meal deliveries
    • Claire, 60, blindness, retired, gave up eligibility to public homecare because others can't afford private services
  • Parents
    • Oscar, 12, mult. disab., mother gave up job as lawyer
    • Cindy, 29, mult. sclerosis, father pays tuition fees, rent

Categories of General Supplementary Costs
(i.e. not because actual programs are insufficient)

  1. Loss of income (episodic)
  2. Tips, donations (for 'unpaid' help)
  3. Incidents (frequent loss of / damage to objects)
  4. Special needs (personal, not covered by programs)
  5. Supp. costs 'around' various types of services (e.g. grocery deliv.)
  6. Unnecessary billing / charges in service package

More and less optimistic views

In disability rights associations

  • Recognition of dis. costs
  • Insufficient funding & complexity of programs

Our own analysis of political environment

  • Renouncing universality
  • Strength of civil society

Final comments

Outcomes and processes : Co-construction of public policies

Current political environment

References on CCD website

  • Aubry, F. (2012). Lutte à la pauvreté et à l'exclusion au Québec.
  • Dumais, L. et L. Archambault (2011). Between Protection and Activation: People with Disabilities in the Social Investment State. (Also Cahiers du LAREPPS no 11-04. http://www.larepps.uqam.ca/Page/publications.aspx)
  • Dumais, L., A. Prohet, M.N. Ducharme (2014). Identification des coûts supplémentaires généraux liés aux déficiences, incapacités et situations de handicap, Cahiers du LAREPPS no 14-01. (+ English research note, soon on CCD website)
  • Vaillancourt, Y. et F. Aubry (2014). Research Report on the Québec Act to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion, a Case of Democratic Co-construction of Public Policy.