Southam News reported December 8, "Wrestling with the prospect that he will have no lasting legacy to rival Pierre Trudeau's repatriation of the constitution or even Brian Mulroney's North American Free Trade Agreement, Chretien is reportedly preparing to assemble a high-level committee to determine the feasibility of a...minimum-income guarantee, which would be developed by merging all or parts of the federal child benefit, welfare, employment insurance and old age pension programs, [and] would allow Chretien to fulfil a number of his campaign promises, notably attacking child poverty."
This was a leaden trial balloon. On December 13, Southam News reported that the prime minister had ridiculed the "legacy" idea. "This is our program," he scoffed, brandishing a copy of Red Book III. "So if you want to know what we'll do in the next four years, read it." He admitted a full review of federal income support programs was underway.
Mr. Chretien has often been accused of breaking his word, and anyone who reads Red Book III will search in vain for the phrase "child poverty." On January 4, the National Post reported that Finance Minister Paul Martin had assured activist June Callwood "he will use the Liberal government's new mandate to address the root causes of child poverty." So what will Mr. Chretien do? Who knows? Source.