Raising Canadian Children Above Poverty Line Possible
Prince George, B.C.- With the recent report saying 1 in 5 children in B.C. live in poverty, ( see previous story) Skeena- Bulkley MP Nathan Cullen says more needs to be done from the federal level.
Saying it is “disgraceful” that a Province like BC , which has the leading economy in the country, has so many children living in poverty ( more than 163 thousand) Cullen says while much should be done at the Provincial level, there are things that should be done federally to help all of Canada’s children who live in poverty.
“Mr. Trudeau brought in a small tax measure that was meant to help out families, but we also know that a broader deeper affordable housing strategy coupled with affordable child care to help, specifically single parents to get out in the work force and earn money would help alleviate poverty that way” says Cullen. ” We know these are the two single greatest things and they have been given the least amount of attention.”
The report indicated that among B.C. children who live in poverty, 50% are being raised in a single parent family.
The report released last week made 20 recommendations, many directed to the Province of B.C., but there were also calls for action from the Federal Government, including extending the period for Employment insurance and increasing the dollars paid out by EI. Those are measures Cullen says would be helpful “We sometimes make those changes in an economic crisis that goes on for a few months. The Alberta wildfires, you’ll see the Government respond and modify EI. What we know from the statistics is , particularly women, only about a third of women who pay into EI actually qualify for it and that’s a broken system. If you want to do something about child poverty, helping women when they lose their jobs would be a natural place to start. It’s insurance, it’s not the Government’s money, it belongs to the workers and employers that pay into it, and it should act like insurance when something goes wrong and you lose your job for whatever reason you’ve got some insurance helping you out.” But Cullen says over the years, governments have been “twerking the rules to limit who can actually gain, but they never change the rules as to who contributes, it’s always everybody contributing, but it’s fewer and fewer Canadians who can actually ever access it.”.
Cullen says the tax plan announced by the Federal Government did little to help those who need it the most “It gave the greatest benefit to those earning more than $190 thousand dollars a year. If the Liberals think that’s how you tackle child poverty, I don’t know what planet they’re living on.”
The report also called for the Federal Government to introduce universal prescription, dental and eye care.