TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - More Canadian children live in poverty today than in 1989 and the
federal government is missing in action, says Laurel Rothman, National
Coordinator for Campaign 2000.
Twenty-three years after the House of Commons unanimously voted to work
together to eliminate child poverty the crisis is worse. Today, one in
seven Canadian children live in poverty - one in four in First Nation's
communities - a reality that threatens our country's future through
higher healthcare costs, lost productivity and limited opportunities.
"Many of the provinces and a few municipalities have recognized the
critical need to take action and have developed their own poverty
reduction strategies. Thanks to their efforts we're beginning to see
some improvements in those jurisdictions," says Rothman. "But they
can't do it alone. Without a coordinated federal action plan that sets
out clear goals and provides the necessary resources the crisis of
child poverty will continue."
With the release of their annual report card entitled Needed: A Federal Action Plan to Eradicate Child and Family Poverty, Campaign 2000 sets out practical actions the Canadian government can
take now that would reduce our child poverty rate by fifteen percent.
"Right now the federal government oversees a hodgepodge of family tax
credits meant to help low and middle income families," says Dr. Sid
Frankel, associate professor of social work at the University of
Manitoba. "Applying for these tax credits can be complicated and
require up front expenditures that low income families don't have, as a
result those that need the credits most go without. The current credits
also require multiple layers of administration, increasing costs for
the government. If the federal government streamlined all current
family and child tax credits into one, dispersed on a sliding scale
based on income to a maximum of $5,400 per year, 174,000 children would
be lifted out of poverty."
The report also highlights the need for a national strategy on good jobs
and affordable housing, as well as greater investment in regulated,
not-for-profit childcare as critical to building a strong future for
all Canadian families.
"The reality is, child poverty is persistent even among families where
both parents work full-time," say Anita Khanna, Ontario Coordinator for
Campaign 2000. "This is particularly true in Canada's urban centers
where low-wage jobs and the high cost of housing leave families
struggling to get by. 38% of foodbank users are now children."
For a full copy of the report visit: campaign2000.ca
Provincial report cards on child poverty are also being released today
in British Columbia and New Brunswick, and was released in Alberta on
SOURCE: Campaign 2000
For further information:
Media contacts: Sarah Jordison, 416.578.5638 or Anita Khanna, 416.788.3439
Also available for comment: French spokesperson and mothers with lived experiences of poverty.