British Columbia

B.C.'s child poverty rate worst in Canada: report

A new report concludes B.C. had the highest child-poverty rate in the country for 2005 based on the latest available income numbers from Statistics Canada.

Fourth year in a row B.C ranked last by report

A new reportsays B.C. had the highest child-poverty rate in the country for 2005, based on the latest available income numbers from Statistics Canada.

According to the report written by the B.C. Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition, one out of every five children lives in poverty.

It saidalmost 21 per cent of children live below the poverty line.The national average was just under 17 per cent.

It's the fourth year in a row B.C ranked last in the report.

Coalition chairperson Michael Goldberg said the provinceneeds to come up with"a child poverty reduction plan, which has very specific targets, and timelines.

"That's been done in Newfoundland. Quebec has had one for a number of years. They have an anti-poverty act they have to follow and their figures are way down compared to most other provinces," said Goldberg on Sunday.

Goldberg said it's shameful that British Columbiahas so many poor children despite doing so well economically.

"Maybe that's what B.C. needs to get very serious about, both the premier and the leader of the opposition," said Goldberg.

Coalition spokesperson Adrienne Montani said Sunday one of many disturbing statistics in the report is that British Columbia has the worst rate of child poverty among families where at least one parent is working full-time, all year.

"It says to me that we have a lot of families that don't make enough money to raise their kids in an inclusive fashion in society," said Montani.

"They're not able to access things that other kids are able to access. It means their parents are working for very low wages. It probably means there's a lot of family stress," she said.

With so many young families with parents working full-time and still unable to keep up with the cost of living in this province, Montani said the provincial government should raise the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour.

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