This week, Statistics Canada released an updated Market Basket Measure (MBM) which is Canada’s official measure of poverty. The MBM uses local data on things like food shelter and transportation and determines a threshold that would give a family of four a modest, basic standard of living. If your household income is less than the MBM, you’re considered to be living in income poverty or under the poverty line. Using this threshold, the government of Canada established a target to reduce poverty by 50% by 2030 using 2015 as a baseline. Canada achieved its target early, reducing poverty by 56% in 2020, but this was mostly because of temporary pandemic benefits and more recently, numbers have been increasing.
Calgary’s MBM was the highest of major cities in Canada. This means that basic necessities in our city cost more than every other major city in Canada, including Vancouver and Toronto. Below are the top five cities and their MBM threshold in dollars.