October 8, 2015
Vancouver, BC – To supplement today’s media release by Campaign 2000: End Child and Family Poverty in Canada of maps showing the rate of child poverty in federal ridings across the country, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition is releasing two charts profiling the child poverty rates in the federal ridings in British Columbia.
The regional maps, available via www.campaign2000.ca include Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Quebec, Greater Toronto Area, the Prairies, and British Columbia. These maps present a snapshot of child poverty rates based on the most recent available data from 2013 on child poverty by federal electoral district or federal riding. The child poverty rates are mapped according to 2013’s 308 riding boundaries.
The maps also have the new 338 riding boundaries super-imposed on the 2013 child poverty data and riding boundaries, providing an up-to-date picture of child poverty in advance of the federal election on October 19th.
In British Columbia 20 of the 36 federal ridings have child poverty rates above 19%, the national average. The BC ridings in Chart 1 are ranked by the percentage of child poverty, highest to lowest. Nanaimo-Cowichan and Surrey North are the ridings with the highest child poverty rates at 28.2% and 27.7% respectively. North Vancouver has the lowest rate at 13.2%
In Chart 2, the ridings are ranked by the number poor children living there. Two Surrey ridings, Surrey North and Fleetwood-Port Kells, top the list with over 8,000 poor children in each riding. Vancouver Centre has the smallest number of poor children (2,230), although the riding’s child poverty rate stands at 21.8%.
Eradicating child and family poverty in Canada requires federal leadership and a sustained commitment that is backed by investments. All federal parties have pledged to end child poverty three times: in 1989, 2009 and in February 2015. 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 coordinated federal action plan that sets out clear goals and provides the necessary resources to end the child poverty crisis.
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. www.firstcallbc.org
Campaign 2000 is a non-partisan, cross-Canada coalition of over 120 organizations committed to ending child and family poverty in Canada. www.campaign2000.ca
Adrienne Montani, First Call Provincial Coordinator, 604-877-4932
Campaign 2000: Anita Khanna at 416-788-3439 or Liyu Guo at 416-624-1885