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Couillard's Liberals promise guaranteed minimum income for some Quebecers

Last Updated Dec 10, 2017 at 5:10 pm EDT

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard speaks at a news conference, Sunday, December 10, 2017 at a physical rehab centre in Quebec City. Couillard announced a government plan to fight on poverty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is promising to create a guaranteed minimum income for certain Quebecers as part of a $3 billion anti-poverty plan.

Couillard and Employment Minister Francois Blais presented the government’s five-year anti-poverty strategy in Quebec City on Sunday.

The plan would boost the annual income of those who are unable to work by more than $5,000 to about $18,029 a year and establish a guaranteed minimum income for them.

Those deemed able to work would not receive increased benefits under the plan but could be eligible for subsidized training or job search bonuses.

The Quebec government says the plan would help lift about 100,000 people out of poverty by 2023 but anti-poverty groups are already denouncing it, saying it creates two classes of poor by punishing those who are deemed able to work.

The next provincial election is set for October 2018.