Child Poverty Alive and Well in Canada

The 2014 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada released by Campaign 2000: End Child Poverty in Canada offered plenty of evidence and made several recommendations to end child poverty.  The highlights of the report include:

  • 1 in 5 children live in poverty in Canada
  • 131,000 children rely on food banks every month
  • 39.7% – children in poverty in families with full time, full year work.

The numbers speak for themselves. What can be done? The report, released November 24,  suggests a full child benefit of $5,600 coupled with fair minimum wages are needed to achieve any substantial reduction in child poverty.  The child benefit is progressive; those with lower incomes receive a larger benefit and vice versa. Full-time work added to the increase in the child benefit indicates the poverty rate would fall by 15% which means 174,000 children would be lifted out of poverty. Other suggestions include a short term plan that would provide an emergency fund of $500 million in federal transfer payments earmarked for regulated quality child care to provinces/territories and indigenous communities; extended and enhanced maternity and parental leave and restoring fairness to the personal income taxation system and reintroducing the principle of taxation based on ability to pay.  Read the report and post your comments here.