Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy
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This article overviews the second phase of a two-phase study which examined experiences of health and social exclusion among mothers experiencing homelessness in Ontario, Canada. A critical discourse analysis was employed to analyze the policy document, Realizing Our Potential: Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy, 2014-2019. In nursing, analysis of policy is an emerging form of scholarship, one that draws attention to the macro levels influencing health and health promotion, such as the social determinants of health, and the policies that impact them. The clear neo-liberal underpinnings, within the strategy, with a focus on productivity and labor market participation leave little room for an understanding of poverty reduction from a human rights perspective. Further, gender-neutrality rendered the poverty experienced by women, and mothers, invisible. Notably, there were a lack of deadlines, target dates, and thorough action and evaluation plans. Such absence troubles whether poverty reduction is truly a priority for the government, and society as a whole.
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