Government inaction leaves one fifth of BC’s children poor
First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition with the support of SPARC BC produces an annual report card with the latest statistics on child and family poverty in British Columbia. This is done in conjunction with the release of the national child poverty report card by Campaign 2000
The year 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of Canada’s promise to end child poverty. In this past quarter century a whole generation of British Columbian children have grown up, yet far too many of them have been hampered in reaching their full potential by growing up in poverty.
Since 1989, the year of the House of Commons promise to end child poverty by the year 2000, there has been an increase in BC’s child poverty rate from 15.5%, representing 118,300 children, to 20.6%, representing 169,420 children in 2012.
First Call has been tracking child and family poverty rates in BC for nearly two decades. Our first BC report card showed that one in five (more than 170,000) BC children were poor. It is profoundly disappointing that 18 years later the data still shows that one in five (169,420) BC children are poor.
First Call’s child poverty report cards feature analysis of child poverty measures from Statistics Canada data. New this year is the use of Stats Can’s T1 Family File taxfiler data, since the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics used in previous report cards was cancelled. Also new this year are heartfelt stories of the struggles faced by families and children living in poverty as well as a visual representation of BC child poverty in maps produced by SPARC BC.