Campaign 2000

Campaign 2000

September 11, 2007 11:30 ET

Campaign 2000: Canada Failing its Children

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 11, 2007) - Canada is lagging behind most other developed nations when it comes to child poverty, and all political parties should commit to a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy for our children and families, says a new report from Campaign 2000, the national non-partisan network committed to ending child and family poverty.

Summoned to Stewardship: Make Poverty Reduction a Collective Legacy calls on the federal government to set a target to reduce Canada's child poverty rate by a minimum of 25% by 2012, and a minimum of 50% by 2017, Canada's 150th anniversary of nationhood. Despite the 1989 all-party House of Commons promise to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000, no goals or timetables were proposed, and child poverty levels remain virtually unchanged.

"The past 10 years of economic growth and prosperity have not made a dent in basic child poverty rates in Canada. To effectively reduce child and family poverty we need a concrete plan of action with specific targets coupled with political will and commitment," said Marvyn Novick, the report's author. "These goals are achievable, as we have seen from international examples such as the United Kingdom. Here at home Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador have implemented poverty reduction strategies and are making good progress as a result."

The report also noted that countries with higher social expenditures, such as Denmark, Sweden and Finland, had the lowest levels of child poverty, and yet they are among the top five most economically competitive in the world.

The cornerstone target of a poverty reduction strategy for Canada would be to assure every parent working full-time, full-year, a living standard out of poverty.

Ensuring a full child benefit of $5,100 per year, per child would reduce Canada's child poverty rate by 37%, and would cost approximately $5 billion annually, an amount equivalent to 1% of the GST.

"The issue of child poverty is non-partisan, and we need federal leadership and provincial champions. Piecemeal efforts have not solved our child poverty problem - it's time for all parties to step up to the plate and agree to a comprehensive long-term poverty reduction strategy. We are calling on the current government to make poverty reduction a priority in the upcoming throne speech on October 16," said Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator of Campaign 2000.

A full copy of the report is available at www.campaign2000.ca.

Contact Information

  • Campaign 2000
    Laurel Rothman
    National Coordinator
    416-575-9230
    or
    Campaign 2000
    Marvyn Novick
    Co-founder, report author
    416-846-0999
    or
    Landon Pearson Centre for the Study of Childhood
    and Children's Rights
    The Honourable Landon Pearson, former Senator
    613-520-2600 x 1453
    or
    Canadian Council on Social Development
    Porte parole francais: Marcel Lauziere
    President
    613-236-8977