Presentation on theme: "End Child Poverty From Awareness to Analysis to Action BC Teachers’ Federation."— Presentation transcript:
End Child Poverty From Awareness to Analysis to Action BC Teachers’ Federation
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 2009. Of these, BCTF estimates 90,000 BC children living in poverty are school-aged (5+). Source: FirstCall, 2011 Child Poverty Report Card, pp. 3–4.2011 Child Poverty Report Card In June 2012, Statistics Canada announced that BCs poverty rate is now second to Manitoba.
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
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
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)
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 Source: First Call: BC Child & Youth Advocacy Coalition, BC Campaign 2000, 2011 Child Poverty Report Card Poverty rates by period of immigration
http://firstcallbc.org/cpanimation.html 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.
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?
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.
Pilot program for communities was announced in April 2012. 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
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, 2011 http://bcpovertyreduction.ca/learn- more/resources/ 12
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
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.
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
Keep your coins—we want change! 16
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.