New research paints discouraging picture of poverty in Vancouver

MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, World Vision and Citizens for Public Justice released a joint report, Poverty at Your Doorstep, featuring detailed snapshots of poverty in five Canadian cities. In Vancouver, the research points to a stark contradiction between years of economic growth and rising insecurity.

"World Vision is on the frontlines of poverty in nearly 100 countries, yet we can't ignore the situation in our own backyard. This report brings home the problem of poverty in Vancouver where newcomer and children of aboriginal identity are disproportionately facing poverty's limitations," says Hugh Brewster, World Vision's national manager of Canadian Programs.

"This report shows Canadians how much farther we need to go to end poverty. Citizens for Public Justice calls persistently for a life of dignity for all. An essential step in that direction is a federal poverty elimination plan that includes long-term solutions such as adequate housing, a fair taxation system and investment in social programs," says Joe Gunn, executive director of Citizens for Public Justice.

Poverty in Vancouver

  • Vancouver's poverty rate at 15 per cent is almost six points above the national benchmark of nine per cent, and significantly higher (along with Montreal) than other large cities in Canada.
  • Children of recent immigrants are among the groups with the highest poverty rates in Canada. Children of Aboriginal identity are also over-represented in poverty statistics.
  • One in five who rely on social assistance (including Disability Assistance) are children.
  • There is a growing gap between rich and poor and these dramatic changes in income patterns are reshaping the city's urban landscape. The number of jobs in Vancouver has been growing, but not fast enough to keep pace with the growing numbers of job seekers.
  • Vancouver is notorious for having the most expensive housing market in Canada. The prohibitive cost of both renting and buying is putting incredible stress on families. Growing numbers of Vancouver residents are spending more than 30 per cent of their incomes on housing. The number of homeless has increased three-fold over the past decade and food bank usage is on the rise.

Community outreach
Well known for international development and humanitarian relief efforts, World Vision also works with 80 partner organizations to help Canadian children living in poverty. In Vancouver, World Vision funds a range of activities such as: helping single-parent families access better food; life-skills and mentorship for teenagers; helping refugees integrate and adjust to life in Canada; financial training and counseling for single parents living with AIDS; classical music education for children from low-income families; after-school programming; and youth leadership development.

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca

Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) is a national organization of members inspired by faith to seek justice in Canadian public policy. www.cpj.ca.

SOURCE: World Vision Canada

For further information:

Interviews available:
For World Vision, contact Tiffany Baggetta (mobile: 416-305-9612) or tiffany_baggetta@worldvision.ca
For Citizens for Public Justice, contact Sarah Shepherd (613-232-0275 x225) or sarah@cpj.ca


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