Wednesday, November 30, 2005

One in four British Columbia children are living in poverty

Jonathan Woodward:

The report, by anti-poverty group Campaign 2000, paints B.C. as the worst offender in a country where the gap between rich and poor families is growing and where children of aboriginals and recent immigrants are hardest hit.

Released yesterday for the first ministers conference in Kelowna, the report was timed for the anniversary of a 1989 unanimous vote by the House of Commons to eliminate child poverty by 2000, Campaign 2000 co-ordinator Laurel Rothman said.

Michael Goldberg, a B.C. advocate who worked on the report, said the government has to increase minimum wage, eliminate the controversial $6-an-hour training wage, and end restrictions on welfare rolls that he said have pushed people to low-paying jobs.

They were meant to get good jobs, but they didn't," he said. "And you didn't have that policy anywhere else in Canada."

B.C.'s child poverty rate, measured by the proportion of children living in households earning less than a regionally specific low-income cutoff, is more than double that of Prince Edward Island, which had the lowest poverty rate, at 11.3 per cent.

B.C.'s rate jumped from 20 per cent in 2001 to about 24 per cent in 2002 and 2003. In that time, the national average stayed stubbornly close to its current value, 17.6 per cent.

Nearly half of the children of recent immigrants are poor, said Ms. Rothman, while 40 per cent of aboriginal children and 33 per cent of children in visible minorities live in poverty.

That should make the federal Liberals think twice about a plan to boost immigration to 300,000 over the next five years, she said.

Child poverty levels in Canada constant

1 Comments:

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That should make the federal Liberals think twice about a plan to boost immigration to 300,000 over the next five years, she said."

It won't thought.

 

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