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October 27, 2017 8:09 pm

One in Five B.C. Children Living in Poverty

Thursday, November 24, 2016 @ 9:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The  new  Child Poverty report card  produced by First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition  says  there has been virtually no change in the child poverty rate in this province.

Based on statistics from 2014, the report  says 19.8% of all children in B.C. (163,260 children) are living in poverty. That is down from the 2013 rate  of 20.4% and is  due entirely to a slight drop in the  poverty rate  for children in couple families, which is  sitting at 12.4%  , the previous mark was 13%.

The  report says  there has been no  change in the poverty rate among children living in  single parent families,  that rate  remains at  50.4%.

Regionally ,  the Regional District of Fraser Fort George has one of  the lower child poverty rates in the province  with  18.3% living in  low  income  families, that is unchanged from the previous year but remains lower than the B.C. rate and  the  National  rate which is 18.5%.  East Kootenay has the  lowest  rate in the Province at 14.3%  while the Central Coast has the highest rate at 51.9%.

“Poverty affects children’s development and robs them of their potential” says Michael McKnight, president and CEO of United Way of the Lower Mainland,  “It’s imperative for the future of our province that we tackle this issue now.  When we  invest in our children, we  are investing in our future.”

The report makes 20 recommendations which include a call   for the Province to develop a poverty reduction plan  and to increase the minimum wage to $15  per hour  as soon as possible.   Other recommendations  include:

  • implementation of a  $10 per day  child care plan,
  • increases to income and disability rates,
  • increases to affordable housing
  • that the  province work with the Federal Government o  develop universal coverage for prescription drugs,  dental and  eye care
  • that the Federal Government enhance   Employment Insurance  to  provide easier access,  longer coverage  and increased benefit levels.

The report notes that when  compared with other provinces, B.C.’s child poverty rate is  about the middle of the pack . Manitoba has the highest  rate at 29%  while Quebec’s rate is the lowest at 15.1%.


Based on 2014 statistics. It’s 2016. Maybe they should factor in the new Child Tax Benefit the Liberals brought in. It’s 6400.00 per child under 6 and 5400.00 over. Surely that’s got to have helped.

Looks to me like someone needed a headline today.

    That’s from the federal liberals . Not from the liberals in name only of BC . Are raking back the 6400 dollars out of the poor children’s welfare ? I would not put that past that thing in Victoria .

      The welfare rates haven’t changed – they are public knowledge. The provincial government stated they would not adjust their rates to claw back the federal payment. 2014 numbers are meaningless. A single mother with two children is now getting an extra $1,000.00 tax free a month, her previous welfare amount has not changed.

      And there’s plenty of working poor that the province has no influence over. People who make minimum wage, who also now have an extra $500.00 per month per child. The poor- thanks to the federal liberals, are significantly better off than in 2014.

      So redo the report, and tell us in today’s terms what the reality is.

Guess for some, children living in poverty in our province is not news worthy. Doesn’t change the fact that BC remains the only province in Canada without a poverty reduction plan. But then again, what can we expect from a provincial government that views our children as a “cost” rather than a “benefit”?

    I know few parents that seen their children as a benefit. Pretty much most parents talk about how much their children cost. And when they grow up and leave home, most question what if any benefit there was. Surprised you’d expect the government to have a different viewpoint.

    But you’re a good socialist. You believe the government can fix everything by hiring an army of social workers and opening the floodgates of cash.

    How do you help a child who lives in a home where parents don’t give a crap. Do you send a social worker over to live with them. Do you give the parents more money. Do you take the child and stick them in a foster home – if you can find one. And then do you give the child tons of cash when they are abused in the foster home?

    And when you’re done taxing to death the businesses and people to pay for all this, and they decide to become a tax consumer as well, do you just borrow money until someone else owns the country.

    In full disclosure, I spent two years on social assistance while I went to college, and somehow my wife and I managed to feed ourselves, our child, even managed to go out for fast food every now and then. And social credit was the government of the day. But that government’s objective was welfare was a hand up, not life long income source, which I to this day appreciate as I pay tens of thousands of taxes. So it paid off for them too.

Since when is it the government’s sole responsibility to ensure that there is no children living in poverty. Where are the parent’s and why is it not pointed out that it is their responsibility to get off their butt’s to improve their situation in order to provide for their families and their children – who are their responsibility. We live in one of the most prosperous nations in the world however continued handouts will not help people out of poverty – it just perpetuates a negative situation. A government should create programs to enable people to help themselves, not hand outs..

B.C. Liberals hire new photographer to document Christy Clark
Headline from CBC

Pretty much says it all .

Would an NDP Government be any different .. probably not .We need someone who will give a damn about the people of BC , not just the rich.

stop teaching ridiculous subjects in school like native history and dance, start teaching finance and commerce basics instead. You can teach money skills, many of the poverty stricken kids have parents with no money skills at all. Its a tough world out there, prepare the kids for the future with courses on life skills.

Oh, and I’m native, so get off your high horse when screaming how I’m racists. The natives will never evolve until they stop feeling sorry for themselves and we are stuck in the past. I do not want my kids learning any more about native history than our family, it will never help them succeed in life.

Finance, setting goals, life skills.. this is the key to eliminating poverty and it starts in the schools.

This will sound incredibly insensitive, but it needs to be said.
Who is ultimately responsible for every child born???
The obvious answer is the PARENTS! All of this child poverty crap is just another excuse to raise taxes, spend more money on programs and relieve people of their own responsibility!
Having children should not be done willy nilly. I know in my own life we waited 5 years after marriage to have children so that we could be in the right financial circumstances to be able to afford to raise them.
People that have a hard time paying their bills and putting food on the table should not be having children!
How about mental / addiction issues?
Should drug addicts be having children? Of course not
Should alcoholics be having children? Of course not
Should people perpetually on social assistance be having children? Of course not!
I feel for the children that are caught up in these lives of poverty through no fault of their own, however the mere fact that people qualify biologically to have children should endow them with the right to push more and more children into a system that will fail them!

    Channeling your inner James Moore ? He also said he’s not responsible for his neighbours starving kids . I guess it’s a rightie thing . Eduction poverty , food insecurity, communication poverty , energy poverty are a fact of life that stunts growth , promotes rickets to the point that little kids kill themselves at alarming rates across this country can’t even soften the rightie heartlessness . Oh , Canada they don’t stand on guard for thee.

      ? kids committing suicide over rickets in Canada?

      Rickets is a symptom /condition of malnutrion . It should be obvious to you but I understand why not . There are many other problems that food insecurity creates . The problems created by food insecurity alone are much more expensive than making sure children don’t grow up hungry .

A poverty level minimum wage and lack of adequate benefits.

Yah know, the reason why children are living in poverty is because the parents are, and we all know that having a very small average income is taken up by the taxes, ICBC , BC Hydo, Fortis Gas that keeps increasing every 6 *&(^%$ months. Not to mention food and medical if you can get it here at all in BC. I personally don’t have small children that I have to worry about anymore, but I can tell you this poverty is not just for children, it is for every person struggling to make it pay check to pay check if you are lucky enough to have a job. IMO

Saw a story on the news the other day about two Syrian refugees who arrived in BC a short time ago and are already working full time. In addition to full time jobs are learning english in evening classes. They said they are extremely grateful for the help they recieved when they first arrived and feel obliged to work hard to contribute to Canada as a way to show their gratitude.

Then there is the person born here that is a second or third generation welfare recipient complaining that it is hard to pay cell phone bill given welfare rates.

I wonder which one would be a better role model for their children? I know which one I would choose.

The problem with the social safety net being too padded is that there are far too many people in today’s society who do not feel one iota of guilt or remorse in living off the dole for life.

    This is a bullcrap , rare event. We had many Syrians come to our wharehouse for job interviews and they all declined, citing a better lifestyle on our amazing welfare system instead. They know they can have multiple wives and make more money on welfare, than going to work as a landed immigrant. The 3 guys who came in all had Ralph Lauren genes and Under Armour jackets, I thought they were realtors or something.

    We have never hired a refugee, none of the want a job.

      We all know that it is not only facebook that has phoney news items. There are also phoney stories on other blogs.

      So which of the storeys on here are phoney?

      One way to deal with that dilemma is not to believe in any “stories” that way one cannot go wrong.

Perhaps you are channeling your inner Karl Marx…it’s a lefty thing!
Yes we need to look after our starving children..however if your poor, have mental health issues, have addiction issues, are a lazy ass MF that doesn’t want to work for a living….you should not be having KIDS period!
Once again who should be ultimately responsible for the welfare of their children??
The Freaking PARENTS that chose to have them!

    You make one assumption too many, that is that all parents who have children choose to have them.

    Not everyone goes to planned parenthood and not all of those who go apply what they learn there.

So are you saying that the people suffering these problems while living in OUR society should not have children . What about our remote communities that suffer these problems at an ever increasing rate . Should they never have children ? That would certainly solve child suicide . No i am not channeling Marx . I follow the money and can read a balance sheet . Canada has to import people in order to maintain population (500K per year ) That’s what happens when you make it too hard for families to grow .

    This topic could easily take a turn to discussing the ultimate state control of human procreation. Another right versus left view of the society we are heading towards.

I wonder what the child poverty rate will rise to AFTER the minimum wage is raise to $ 15 an hour? Or if we raised it to $ 20? Does anyone doubt it would go UP, in face of the evidence where it’s gone each time in the past the minimum wage has been raised?

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