However, the issue of poverty in Canada is very much alive and as the paper analyzes, there are several dimensions to the incidence of poverty in Canada. To quote the preeminent expert on Canadian poverty, Christopher Sarlo, “Poverty is not a MAJOR problem in Canada. This is not to say that there is no poverty, but, to underscore the fact that the issue is multi-dimensional, meaning that there is no one reason for poverty in Canada nor there is widespread poverty like in the developing world” (Sarlo, 1996). The point here is that like in other countries in the developed world, poverty in Canada affects some sections more than the others and hence it remains “hidden” from public view.
Historically, the issue of Poverty in Canada was very much like that of the countries under British occupation and there were landed gentry and huge numbers of people who were struggling to make ends meet. The country was divided into concentrations of people who were living in conditions that could be described as appalling whereas there were huge swathes of land owned by a few who could be described as living pleasantly and were well-off. The history of poverty in Canada goes back to the 18th century where the British-North American lands were experiencing the industrial revolution that saw a high proportion of people being lifted out of poverty whereas the others continued to suffer under deprived conditions.
In the 20th century, the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930’s witnessed the hitherto well-off slipping into lower income categories because of the losses suffered by them on account of the economic crisis. In the same way that the current economic crisis has pushed many middle class families into lower income brackets, the Great Depression affected Canada by reducing the middle class to a state of penury.
After that the history of poverty has matched the cyclical processes of growth and