CHILD AND FAMILY POVERTY

  • BC has the second worst child poverty rate in Canada (14%) and the worst poverty rate for children living in two-parent families (12%). BC also has the most unequal distribution of income between rich and poor families with children of any province.
  • There are significantly higher poverty rates for children of recent immigrants, children of Aboriginal identity, children in female lone-parent families, children in racialized families and children with a disability. For example, census data shows that urban Aboriginal families experienced nearly double the poverty rate of non-Aboriginal urban families (21% vs. 11% respectively).
  • There are serious negative impacts from living in poverty, even for one or two years, on young children’s health and development. These impacts include longer-term effects such as increased risks of chronic disease, school failure, and criminal involvement.
  • Health inequities are associated with higher costs for our health and social service systems, and social costs to our communities. It is estimated that if disadvantaged British Columbians were as healthy as those with higher education and incomes, avoided health care costs would amount to $1.2 billion.
  • BC is one of only two provinces that don’t have a comprehensive poverty reduction plan.

Q: If elected, will your party adopt a comprehensive provincial poverty reduction plan with legislated targets and timelines, a cabinet minister with the authority and responsibility to ensure government is achieving its targets on time, and a goal of reducing BC’s child poverty rate to 7 percent or lower by 2020? 

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