PE Ledger

A new analysis warns that Ottawa is failing in its mission to eradicate childhood poverty

At the current rate of improvement, it will take 54 years to erase child poverty, according to a national alliance.

The COVID-19 pandemic hindered Canada’s mission to erase child poverty, according to a national coalition that advocates for children and families, and the group is pushing the new federal government to take stronger and more decisive action to protect children.

According to a new analysis by Campaign 2000, more than 1.3 million Canadian children, or 17.7%, live below the poverty line set by Statistics Canada.

“That’s a substantial number of kids who are suffering from the dangers and repercussions of missing meals, not having the appropriate clothing, and parents working really long hours,” said Leila Sarnagi, national director of Campaign 2000.

The alliance, which has more than 120 members, is named after a House of Commons resolution passed in 1989 that aimed to remove child poverty by the year 2000.

According to the research released on Wednesday, low-income, single-parent families are now further from poverty than they have been since 2012. The average two-parent household with two children is $13,262 away from poverty. In 2015, the disparity was $9,612 dollars.

The report’s poverty line is known as the Low-Income Tax Measure After Tax, which Statistics Canada defines as 50% of Canadian households’ median income.

The study is based on the latest tax data available, which is for the year 2019.

According to Sarnagi, the economic dislocation created by the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly worsened child poverty since then.

“We believe it will be worse, that the epidemic will show us worse consequences and higher percentages of poverty,” she said.

Nunavut is having highest child poverty rate in Canada, at 34.4 per cent. Manitoba had the highest rate of any province, at 28.4 per cent.

The reduction of child poverty has come to a halt.

According to Sarnagi, policies introduced during the early years of the Trudeau administration, particularly the Canada Child Benefit, had a major positive influence on child poverty levels.

She claims that these advances are now stalling because the government has not effectively extended benefits programs or made them easier to access for parents.

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