First Call Monthly Updates

November 2017 Monthly Update

First Call meets Ministers – Fostering Change campaign – New team member – and more!

Noveber 2017

Highlights this month include:

  • 2017 BC Child Poverty Report Card
  • Fundraising gala set for February 1, 2018
  • Call to increase child care outdoor play space
  • First Call out and about
  • First Call correspondence and publications
  • First Call in the news

Read on to learn more!

Yours for children and youth,

Adrienne, Deanna, John and Viveca




On November 21, First Call released the 2017 BC Child Poverty Report Card, with a press conference held at the BC Teachers’ Federation. The report shows 153,300, or one in five, BC children still live in poverty. The report finds BC’s child poverty rate, at 18.3%, is a full percentage point higher than the national average of 17.4%, but down slightly from the 2014 rate of 19.8%.

The report also contains new 2016 census data highlighting the much higher poverty rates among some groups of children in the province, with recent immigrant children at 45%, off-reserve Aboriginal children at 31%, and racialized (‘visible minority’) children at 23%. Children living with a parent with a disability in Canada have a 53% poverty rate.

The evidence of discrimination against women, who make up 80% of lone parents in BC, continues with nearly 50% of children in lone-parent families still living in poverty.

The report and website are full of facts, stories, and maps illustrating the need for a comprehensive provincial poverty reduction plan, and offer 21 additional recommendations to the provincial and federal governments for action.

Read the full report
Watch the webinar on key report card findings
Read First Call’s 21 recommendations to government
Watch videos from the November 21 press conference
See maps and graphs of child poverty rates in urban areas across BC
Read stories of child and family poverty
Ask the Premier and your MLA to take action on child poverty


First Call is delighted to announce that Grand Chief Ed John, Tl’azt’en Nation, is keynote speaker for First Call’s 2018 fundraising gala, to be held on February 1 at Fraserview Hall, 8240 Fraser Street in Vancouver.

Grand Chief Ed John has led a distinguished career advocating for the rights of all children as First Nations Summit Political Executive and former North American Representative to, and Chair of, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. We hope you will join us to hear him draw from his years of leadership and deep understanding of the impacts of colonization and the child welfare system on Indigenous children, families and communities.

Tickets are $75 each ($50 for those on fixed income) or tables of 8 for $575.

Buy your tickets to the February 1 gala today


Since July 2016, First Call has had questions about why the minimum outdoor play space per child, as determined in the Child Care Licensing Regulation, was reduced from 7 square metres to 6 square metres for licensed child care programs.

Child to space density impacts levels of aggression, the mood, and the types of play, and the amount of gross motor activity in outdoor play spaces. This reduction in play space per child is contrary to the expert evidence on children’s play, and First Call has raised this issue with our new Minister of Health Adrian Dix.

Read the full letter.


This month Living Wage Campaign Organizer Deanna Ogle spoke about the different roles of organizing to Community Action Network participants at the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House. She also made a presentation to the Fair Wage Commission and supported a number of employers and allies to present to the Commission about the benefits of paying a fair wage at community consultations in Abbotsford, Vancouver and Victoria. On November 22, Deanna also spoke about living wage policies in institutions to students and cleaners at Capilano College, at a meeting organized by the campus Student Worker Alliance.

Adrienne and John attended the final Grantee Learning Day of the Vancouver Foundation’s Fostering Change initiative, the poignant conclusion to work that began a decade ago with the Vancouver Foundation’s Youth Homelessness Initiative—and the realization early on that youth formerly in foster care are over-represented among homeless youth. First Call’s work to improve supports for youth transitioning out of government care will continue in 2018.


Vancouver Sun: A kid who grew up in the projects is now in charge of reducing poverty in B.C.
Vancouver Sun: Children of single parents at greatest risk of poverty, B.C. report card says
Province: Adrienne Montani: B.C.’s child poverty story needs to change
CBC: Report calls on federal and provincial policies to address child poverty in B.C.
My Cowichan Valley: One in 4 rural B.C. children in poverty
My Prince George Now: Child poverty rates in BC continue to soar, northern numbers climbing higher
BC Almanac: Guest Adrienne Montani speaks about child poverty statistics in BC
Surrey Now-Leader: Nearly half of recently immigrated kids in B.C. are poor
News 1130: Almost one in five BC kids live in poverty: report
Roundhouse Radio: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition makes recommendations to improve child poverty
BCIT News: BC Advocacy group calls BC ‘hotbed for child poverty’
BCTF Buzz: 1 in 5 BC children still living in poverty
Vancouver Sun: Five ways provincial government can help reduce child poverty (video)
National Post: Report calls on federal and provincial policies to address child poverty in B.C.
CTV News: 1 in 5 children in B.C. living in poverty: report              
Global News: 1 in 5 children in B.C. live in poverty: report
Times Colonist: 21 recommendations made to relieve child poverty
Globe and Mail: Report calls for federal, provincial policies to address child poverty in B.C.
Metro News: Report calls on federal and provincial policies to address child poverty in B.C.
CBC Early Edition: 1 in 5 child poverty in BC
Tyee: Little Change to Child Poverty in BC
My Comox Valley Now: One in 4 Rural BC Kids Living in Poverty
CBC Early Edition: Children of single parents disproportionately affected by poverty, YWCA says
Cowichan Valley Citizen: Editorial: No child deserves to live in poverty in B.C.
Times Colonist: Editorial: Action needed on child poverty
CBC: B.C. NDP say universal child care won’t come until after February budget announcement
Lake Country Calendar: More Kelowna kids living in poverty
People First Radio: Looking for action to change British Columbia’s child poverty story
Castanet: We owe the children
Williams Lake Tribune: Cariboo Chilcotin child poverty rate 23.2 per cent               
The Navigator: Navigating Post-Care and Post-Secondary: A story of resilience
KelownaNow: YMCA Okanagan helps local family make a fresh start
Georgia Straight: B.C. foster kids benefit from Vancouver Foundation’s foresight