More than 17% of children live in poverty in Canada, of whom over 37% are from the First Nations, according to a report from Campaign 2000.
The report is based on 2015 census data, prior to the arrival of the Canada Child Benefit act (CCB), which is specifically designed to combat child poverty. But this program has reduced poverty by only 1.2% from 2015 to 2016, so it’s not enough, according to Campaign 2000.
According to these data, in Canada as a whole, the average child poverty rate is 17.4%, and among the 338 ridings, 162 are at or above this percentage.
According to the report, the areas where children are the poorest in Canada have a higher proportion of Aboriginal people. The organization also noted that racialized individuals, recent immigrants, and lone-parent families headed primarily by women were also overrepresented in this ranking.
“We see that it’s not really a question of choice, it’s the family in which we are born,” said Nathalie Appleyard, a member of the Campaign 2000 coordinating committee. “We see that the system we have now does not provide the same opportunities for success for the well-being, health and jobs of all our citizens. ”
However, Campaign 2000 recognizes that some progress has been made by the government in recent years, including the Canada Child Benefit program, but that is not enough.
The organization is asking the Trudeau government to develop a national strategy on poverty reduction, as promised in the last campaign. “We need the federal government’s leadership, but we are also working with provincial and territorial governments as well as with cities,” said Appleyard.
Campaign 2000 also suggests adopting a law that would impose a poverty reduction target.
The organization is also proposing to increase ACE benefits, to improve the Employment Insurance program and implement a universal child care system.
“Because every federal riding in Canada has a significant number of children and families living in poverty, all communities, all members of the House of Commons and all political parties are concerned with the eradication of poverty in Canada,” said Anita Khanna, national coordinator of Campaign 2000, in a statement.