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Honouring our promises: Meeting the challenge to end child and family poverty

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2003 Report Card on Child Poverty in Canada
Campaign 2000
Publication Date: 
24 Nov 2003

Available in print for order (see SOURCE) and online for download.

Excerpt from press release:

More than half of all children living in poverty have parents who are in the paid labour force, says a report released by Campaign 2000. They are part of the more than one million children in Canada who lived below the poverty line according to the most recent statistics. Deep poverty persisted throughout the economic boom as female-lone parent families slid further behind.

"The report card brings mixed news this year. The good news is that economic growth and investments in child benefits are beginning to pay off - the rate of child poverty fell to 15.6% in 2001 from 16.4% in 2000," says Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator of Campaign 2000. "But the bad news is that the underlying causes of child poverty persisted during prosperous times: a job is no longer a guaranteed escape from poverty and Canada's income security system fails to protect families from the vagaries of the economic cycle."

"Mothers bear a disproportionate share of the burden of child poverty. They are more likely to be in low paid work, in part-time or non-standard employment, and less likely to qualify for benefits when they are unemployed," said Elaine Teofilovici, Executive Director of the YWCA of/du Canada. "And as the supply of affordable, high quality child care has flat lined over the past decade, mothers cannot find care which they require to get and keep a job, access training or education."

New data from the 2001 Census shows that children in Aboriginal, visible minority and immigrant families are disproportionately affected by poverty. Children with activity limitations are also more likely to live in a low income household.

Campaign 2000 wants to see action on an enhanced Child Tax Benefit; a federal and provincial commission to improve the availability of good jobs with living wages; a cross-Canada system of Early Childhood Education and Care services; and a strategy to significantly increase affordable housing.