After four years of Liberal rule, child poverty rates across the country remain shockingly high. According to a recent report by First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition, 19.6% of Canadian children live in poverty. In the riding of Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, 22% of children live in poverty and 30% in the city of Duncan, one of the highest urban poverty rates in the province.
“It is a sad state of affairs when a country as wealthy as Canada allows so many of its children to live in poverty,” said MacGregor. “Our government owes it to Canadians to solve this problem, and to fight on behalf of every single child to ensure they have their needs met. We need tangible action on child poverty, not empty promises without real change.”
Notably, the Liberals brought forward a new poverty reduction strategy during their time in power, but did not commit a single dollar of new spending – telling Canadians who need help now that they have to wait.
The NDP’s New Deal for People offers numerous broad-reaching policies to combat poverty, creating real change for Canadians. New Democrats have pledged to work with the provinces to launch a national basic income pilot project, to create thousands of new homes for families in need, and to eliminate financial barriers to prescription medicine. Family-centered policies, such as universal child care and a national school nutrition program will go a step further in eradicating child poverty within Canada.
“All young Canadians should be afforded the opportunity to thrive, not merely survive,” said MacGregor. “The government needs to do what was promised, and actually address this critical issue. The children of Canada are worth the investment.”
First Call: Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition report available here: