Critics are blasting the provincial government for failing to address child poverty in the wake of today's release of the latest child poverty report card.

The statistics, contained in a report compiled by First Call — a coalition of more than 90 provincial organizations — shows B.C. has the second highest rate of child poverty in Canada — just behind Manitoba.

Public Health Association of B.C. spokesman Dr. John Millar says it's disgraceful that 14.3 per cent of B.C. children are poor, and he's calling for immediate poverty-reduction targets and the appointment of a minister to oversee the work.

Children's Minister Stephanie Cadieux says no one wants to see children struggling for the basics — and she says the Clark government's jobs plan is a key to helping children and families break the poverty cycle.

But New Democrat children and families critic Claire Trevena accused the Liberal government of mismanaging resources.

"On the one hand the Liberal government preaches 'families first,' and on the other they waste $15 million of valuable resources on partisan pre-election advertising," said Trevena.

"This is money that could have better spent on kids, families and in the community. Frankly, I'm beyond disappointed."