Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 17, 2004
Child poverty levels remain high despite promises
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
Child poverty levels in Canada have hardly changed in three decades despite political promises and public concern, says Campaign 2000 in a study released May 5.
Christa Freiler, the principal author, said the report demonstrates that child poverty remains firmly entrenched in Canada.
"For the past three decades child poverty levels have hovered at one child in six," she said. "Despite the political promises and the concern of the public we have not been able to shake our high level of child poverty."
Laurel Rothman, national coordinator of the coalition, which includes the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Canadian Council of Churches and the Catholic Health Association of Canada, says a "structural impasse" has been reached.
Campaign 2000 proposed a plan that would have the federal government commit at least 1.5 per cent of GDP, or approximately $18 billion a year, in new public revenue. The plan would include a boost in the minimum wage to $10 an hour by the end of 2007, an enhanced child benefit of $4,900 per child, and a "significant" expansion of affordable housing.
Andrew Jackson, senior economist with the Canadian Labour Congress, said two million adults in Canada are in low wage jobs.
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