Campaign 2000, November 26, 2013– The latest figures from Statistics Canada (2011) once again show that BC is the worst province in Canada when it comes to major measures of child poverty:
- BC had a child poverty rate of 18.6 per cent — the worst rate of any province in Canada, using the before-tax low income cut-offs of Statistics Canada as the measure of poverty.
- BC had the worst poverty rate of any province for children living in single mother families — 49.8 per cent.
- BC also had the worst poverty rate of any province for children living in two-parent families — 14 per cent.
- BC’s poverty rate for children under 6 years at 20.7 per cent is 8 percentage points higher than the Canadian average.
- British Columbia also had the most unequal distribution of income among rich and poor families with children. The ratio of the average incomes of the richest 10 per cent compared to the poorest 10 per cent was 12.6 — the worst of any province.
Despite these shameful facts, and a decade of similarly dismal statistics, BC has inexplicably refused to follow the lead of most other provincial and territorial governments, of all political persuasions, to develop and implement a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy.
In 2013, the BC government cannot claim to be ignorant of the abundant evidence of the harm done to children’s health and development by growing up in poverty, nor of the huge additional costs in health care, education, the justice system and lost productivity we are already paying by keeping poverty rates so high.
Read More: British Columbia: 2013 Child Poverty Report Card (Campaign 2000)