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End Child Poverty From Awareness to Analysis to Action BC Teachers’ Federation.

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Presentation on theme: "End Child Poverty From Awareness to Analysis to Action BC Teachers’ Federation."— Presentation transcript:

1 End Child Poverty From Awareness to Analysis to Action BC Teachers’ Federation

2 BC—highest child poverty rate in Canada 2  In 2009, BC recorded the highest after-tax child poverty rate (12%) in Canada for the eighth year in a row.  The before-tax child poverty rate for BC increased from 14.5% (121,000 children) in 2008 to 16.4% (137,000 children) in  Of these, BCTF estimates 90,000 BC children living in poverty are school-aged (5+). Source: FirstCall, 2011 Child Poverty Report Card, pp. 3– Child Poverty Report Card  In June 2012, Statistics Canada announced that BCs poverty rate is now second to Manitoba.

3 3 Source: First Call: BC Child & Youth Advocacy Coalition, BC Campaign 2000, 2011 Child Poverty Report Card Child poverty rates by province 2009 LICO after-tax

4 What does poverty look like in BC?  Children in female lone-parent families are at much higher risk of poverty than two-parent families.  In 2009, 24.2% of children in female lone-parent families lived in poverty. 4  15% of children in two-parent families lived below the poverty line in BC. Source: First Call 2011 Child Poverty Report CardFirst Call 2011 Child Poverty Report Card

5 Aboriginal families 5  Disproportionate numbers of Aboriginal children and families are living in poverty, both on- and off- reserve.  Nationally, 49% of off-reserve Aboriginal children and 31% of Metis children under six years of age were in low-income families in 2006, compared to 18% of non-Aboriginal children. (O’Donnell)

6 New immigrant families The poverty rate of children under 18  who arrived in BC between 2001 and 2006 was 49.6% compared to 16.2% for Canadian-born families. Source: First Call 2011 Child Poverty Report Card 6

7 7 Source: First Call: BC Child & Youth Advocacy Coalition, BC Campaign 2000, 2011 Child Poverty Report Card Poverty rates by period of immigration

8 8 A short animation about child poverty in Canada and British Columbia was created for First Call by Peter Romich of Diametric with music by James Andean.

9 The importance of government help 9 Both the federal and provincial governments have programs that help reduce the extent of poverty:  Canada child Tax Benefit—18 yrs  Universal Child Care Benefit—6 yrs  GST credit to low-income families & individuals  Employment Insurance Fund  Social Assistance (welfare program) Even with all of this, too many children and their families struggle with the issues of poverty. What needs to happen?

10 What is a poverty reduction plan? Essential elements include  legislated targets and timelines.  accountability for future governments.  focus on high-quality childcare, affordable housing, and living wages for everyone. 10  aimed to support marginalized groups.  ongoing consultation with communities.

11 Pilot program for communities  was announced in April  involves 15 families living in poverty in each of seven different communities.  identifies service gaps to learn from families.  plans to identify short- and long-term needs.  creates a data profile of each community.  attempts to overcome identified barriers. 11

12 BC Poverty Reduction Coalition Useful resources  The Cost of Poverty in BC —July 2011  The Cost of Eating in BC Report 2011  2011 Child Poverty Report Card  Poverty elimination day, October—17, more/resources/ 12

13 Share this website to be informed: Join 300,000 other BC residents who have already signed the online petition calling for the government to take action to create a poverty reduction plan for BC. Taking action: What can I do? bcpovertyreduction.ca 13

14 Poverty as a 2013 election issue  Talk to colleagues, friends and parents.  Use social media to post short facts about the realities of child poverty in BC.  Question your MLA candidates leading up to and at all public forums. 14  Hold all politicians equally accountable irrespective of their party affiliations.  Challenge parties to release portions of their platforms in advance of the dropping of a writ.

15 Speak OUT and engage voters!  Federally—call for a national housing strategy; universal childcare system  Provincially—call for a poverty reduction strategy; living wage campaign; raising welfare rates  Challenge benefit claw-back rules (welfare policy)  Local communities—letters to the editor; union, school and District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) newsletters  Engage students via “student vote” campaign  Social Justice 12, Social Studies; Planning 10  “Justice not Charity” student campaign. 15

16 Keep your coins—we want change! 16

17 November = End Poverty Month! 17  Resources and lessons are available on the BCTF website under Social Justice  Action Groups  Anti- poverty  Resources. The Poverty, it’s local, it’s global, it’s all connected student resource unit is produced as a co-operative initiative of End Legislated Poverty and the BCTF.


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