Alberta study offers new poverty strategy

Feb. 6, 2012 at 11:33 PM
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EDMONTON, Alberta, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- A report published Monday by anti-poverty groups in Alberta urges the government to rethink its approach to fighting poverty in the Canadian province.

The report suggests failure to address the root cause of poverty costs the province $9.5 billion annually and recommends investment in preventing people from falling into poverty, the Edmonton Journal reported.

A coalition of seven groups prepared the 39-page report, which suggests spending to alleviate poverty can trap people in a poverty cycle.

"Investing in poverty prevention costs us less, in the long run, than our current strategy of spending to manage poverty," said co-author Alexa Briggs.

"We have a government that claims to be fiscally conservative, but this report shows that $9 billion a year is what it costs to not fix the poverty problem," said Dan Meades, director of Vibrant Communities Calgary, one of the report's co-sponsors.

The study also found $560 million could be saved by addressing the root causes of poverty on matters such as punishment for shoplifting and non-payment for public transit rides.

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