There are 5,340 children living in poverty in the Cariboo-Prince George riding, according to sobering Information released just before the Thanksgiving weekend.
That number represents 22.5 per cent of the children in the region, and is based on 2013 low income measured after taxes, said First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition who said it purposely released the data in advance of the Oct. 19 federal election.
“Eradicating child and family poverty in Canada requires federal leadership and a sustained commitment that is backed by investments,” First Call urged. “All federal parties have pledged to end child poverty three times: in 1989, 2009 and in February 2015.”
Nanaimo-Cowichan topped the two charts with 6,720 or 28.2 per cent of children living in poverty.
Vancouver Centre has the smallest number of poor children — 2,230 —although the number represents 21.8 per cent of the children living in the riding.
First Call says despite growing inequality and persistent poverty plaguing Canadians, there has not been a sustained or significant reduction in the national rate of child and family poverty since 1989.
The role of the federal government is crucial to poverty reduction because of its significant taxation and transfer powers, administration of key income security programs and power to set taxation levels.
“Unfortunately, the federal government is missing in action on poverty reduction and needs to play a much stronger role through a co-ordinated federal action plan that sets out clear goals and provides the necessary resources to end the child poverty crisis,” First Call insisted.
First Call’s federal election toolkit poses 39 questions to federal candidates and parties about improvements needed in federal policies and investments to benefit Canada’s children, youth and families. The questions point to the solutions, including a federal action plan to eradicate poverty.
First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition is a non-partisan coalition of over 95 provincial and regional organizations who have united their voices to put children and youth first in BC through public education, community mobilization, and public policy advocacy.