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Nova Scotia barely passes Poverty Report Card

By Evan Taylor May 23, 2024 | 2:13 PM

Tents at Grand Parade Photo: Megan St. Rose

Food Banks Canada released their annual report cards on poverty in Canada and Nova Scotia received the worst grade awarded.

Nova Scotia received a grade of D-, which was given to seven provinces in total (AB, MB, SK, ON, NB, NFLD and NB).

In 2023, Nova Scotia received a failing grade.

Poverty Metrics trending down

Although Nova Scotia’s grade improved in this year’s report card the metrics used to judge how poverty impacts people’s daily lives show the situation as getting worse.


Scores went down in the categories of material deprivation, poverty measures and experiences of poverty.

Nova Scotia has a poverty rate of 13.1 per cent, which is higher than that of Canada as a whole (9.9 per cent) and is the highest of any province by a relatively large margin.

-Food Banks Canada Nova Scotia Report Card

Legislation improvements

The only category in Nova Scotia trending the right way was legislative progress which improved from a failing grade in 2023 to a B- for 2024.

The report credits the addition of indexed tax brackets and new spending on public housing as the reason for the improved grade.

Indexing tax brackets was one of the four policy recommendations to come out of the 2023 report card and was the only one completed in the last year.

The other recommendations include; implementing a poverty reduction plan, removing co-payments for provincial pharmacare programs and improving the Poverty Reduction Credit by doubling it, indexing it, and expanding eligibility beyond the $16,000 cut-off.