A report card on child poverty on P.E.I. suggests no progress has been made on the issue since Parliament committed to end child poverty 25 years ago.

Mary Boyd

There are a number of reasons why child poverty has not improved on P.E.I., says Mary Boyd. (CBC)

The report, by the MacKillop Centre for Social Justice and the Coalition for a Poverty Eradication Strategy for P.E.I., found 17.5 per cent of children on the Island living in poverty in 2012, compared to 13.8 per cent in 1989.

Spokeswoman Mary Boyd listed a number of factors contributing to the worsening child poverty picture.

“Social assistance — there haven’t been increases of any significance for a very long time — we’ve had taxes that haven’t been fair and low-income people have paid more than their fair share,” said Boyd.

“We have a high unemployment rate, we have a low weekly wage rate compared to the rest of Canada, and we have no serious commitment from our government to enact a poverty eradication strategy.”

The report found single-parent families by far have the most financial troubles. Families led by a single parent have a poverty rate of 44.9 per cent, compared to just 8.9 per cent for families led by couples.

Similar reports, in collaboration with Campaign 2000, have been released on most other provinces, with more to come.