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Excerpt from communiqué:
The number of Canadian children going hungry is on the rise and shows no sign of letting up, according to a report by the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD). The "Progress of Canada's children 2002" says that approximately 75,000 families with children under the age of 12 reported being hungry in 1996 (the last year for which data are available) - an increase of one-third from 1994. The statistics on hunger offer the most disturbing glimpse into the deteriorating living conditions of many Canadian children documented in the CCSD's sixth annual report. They are key indicators of persistent poverty in Canada and are directly linked to poor academic performance. Progress looks at how Canadian children from different economic backgrounds have been faring in subjects such as reading, writing, math and science. The study found that of those children doing well at school, nearly one in two had never experienced poverty, while one in three had been persistently poor. Progress illustrates that families struggle when they live in persistent poverty and that it takes a heavy toll on their children.
Excerpt from speaking notes:
"We also urge the Federal government to increase its investment into the Early Childhood Development Agreement and to specifically target these new funds to childcare and for increasing childcare spaces across Canada. Our hope at the end of the day is that the Québec model of universally accessible childcare will inspire other provinces to do the same.
If the "Canada We Want" is a prosperous country with a healthy, skilled citizenry, then we can ill afford not to invest substantially in our children and families."