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October 27, 2017 7:01 pm

Growing Up Healthy in Northern BC – Northern Health Releases Report on Needs

Monday, February 6, 2017 @ 2:00 PM

(New report  details some of the needs in the North to  help children on a healthy path  Click on image to access full report)

Prince George, B.C. – Poverty remains  a significant  barrier for  children in the north to grow up healthy.

That message was heard loud and clear  during the community consultations held  in communities across the Northern Health region  following the  release of Northern Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Sandra Allison’s report  on Child Health last spring.

That report  indicated  that across most of the region, one in five children lives in low income families,  that Northern BC has  higher rates of infant mortality,  about 33% of Northern children are not emotionally or physically ready to start school, have higher rates of poor oral health and the highest rates of dental surgeries.

Nearly a thousand people took part in the consultations which  were held in 20 communities throughout the Northern Health region  in May and June of last year.

(at right, Dr. Allison and  Dr. Charles Jago  release report – photos 250News)

While  participants from each community detailed  what is working in their  particular communities to  give children a healthy start, addressing issues around poverty to meet the basic needs of a child topped the list.

  • Adequate housing
  • healthy food
  • access to recreation and cultural activities
  • quality childcare
  • full participation in school
  • dental care
  • transportation.

“If you look  at some our centres,  Prince Rupert for example,  up to 38%  of children there are   living in poverty” says Dr. Allison ” We need to raise  the issue with our partners, and we need to help them understand that without  flourishing economies, diverse economies  education, all of those other pieces,  we’re going to be struggling with poverty for a long time.   On an operational level,  within  Northern Health,  we can understand how  people are accessing  our programs or not  and trying to ensure people have equity of access so whether that’s through transportation considerations, or times of day, or access to providers in non traditional ways, we need to make those adjustments so people are accessing health in the way that they can.”

Another over arching theme was improving  supports for  youth  for mental health and substance  abuse issues.

“We’ll be working hard to gather all the information  we’ve collected through  data and quantitative work  that  I’ve done and the qualitative  information that  we’ve gathered from  the communities on a community by community level” says Dr. Allison. She says the next step  will see Northern Health ” Build  a maternal, infant, child program that  will make a difference in the North”.  No easy task , as efforts will have to coordinate with  provincial programs and programs that are being   offered or planned in  each community “It’s a bit of an exercise,  but I know we can do it”  says Dr. Allison.

Dr. Charles Jago , Chair of the Northern Health’s  Board,  says  it’s hard to predict what kind of reaction the release of this report will generate ” I will give you an  example, the report on Men’s Health, it just took off.  There were testing centres  at conventions and hockey games and  so on and so forth.  It heightened awareness and a lot of people  utilized services that  they wouldn’t have otherwise utilized, so  part of the process of these  reports is to enhance the understanding of the challenges we face, and then frankly,  encourage others to rise to the challenge.  It’s not just Northern Health , it’s the communities,  it’s social service agencies.   A better understanding of the issues, will help us find ways  of addressing them.”   He says  the report presents an opportunity for  communities to  see what is working, and what needs improvement in each of their respective  communities.




Well if you want change you better think of electing a different government in this province.

    If not the Liberals, then who?

      Exactly, one party is as good as the other! Big promises as per usual and things will carry on.

    If you think that the government is the only determining factor in people’s lives and well being, you are off your rocker. Not everything in this province is about the Liberals. Even if it was, what difference will the NDP make?

I knew child poverty was worse in Northern BC, up to 28% in rural areas around Prince George, but the statistics for Prince Rupert was absolutely jaw dropping; nearly 40% of all children living in that city, live in poverty.

For more than a decade, our province has had one of the highest, and at times the highest, child poverty rates in the country, and yet we continue to re-elect a government that refuses to do anything substantial to reduce that child poverty rate!!!


    Oh I see, it’s the government’s job to make sure people have lots of money, and take care of the kids, not the parents? Ah the Liberal mindset, priceless. Of course, a lot of these people get a decent amount of money, tax breaks and incentive, but still can’t make it work. But wait, that’s the government’s fault too, right? Give us a break, the bleeding hearts are falling on deaf ears. We all bust our asses to make things work in our lives, why do I care if the welfare family of 5 can’t make ends meet.. when me and my wife work every day to do get the same things?

    Stop blaming everyone but the parents.

      Being as you are a biological @isthisreallife and subject to injury, what happens if you become seriously ill and so does your wife, unable to work run through your savings – what then? You too could be in the position to ask for social assistance and live in poverty through no fault of your own. Most children living in poverty have parents who work – minimum wage is well below the poverty line and that is something the government can control and doesn’t.

      Are you okay with this same government giving interest free loans to those who make 6 figure salaries so that they can invest in the Vancouver real-estate market? What about the Hydro that you can’t afford but the Liberals give e-rates or deferrals to their corporate friends? Do you like paying the same MSP as someone who make $2 million a year?

      Since when is a first time home buyer who has to live in the place they buy for a minimum of 5 years if they use the government plan all of the sudden a real estate market investor? The E hydro rates are the same as for other industries, deffering your hydro bill to keep your business open is now some type of gift to a corporate friend? You are some kind of piece of work

    British Columbia, is the only province in Canada that does NOT have a Poverty Reduction Plan!!! So yes other provincial and territorial governments are doing something about their poverty rates! While it is mainly a provincial responsibility, the Federal government should also help!

    Yet here we have comments that echo the a-typical Alt Right Conservative mantra; “Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so”. Industry Minister James Moore has apologized for the controversial remarks he made over the weekend after critics accused him of saying the federal government doesn’t have a role in ending child poverty in Canada. Ironically, Moore was commenting on a report that found B.C. has the worst rates of child poverty in the country. While he was technically correct to suggest child poverty falls under provincial jurisdiction, his comments were criticized as “dismissive” and Scrooge-like, especially given the Christmas season.”

    ht tp://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/james-moore-on-the-defensive-for-poverty-comment-is-it-my-job-to-feed-my-neighbours-child-i-dont-think-so

      LICO was worse during the NDP, actually went up in the early to mid 90s, kind of sad

      A third of northern children are not ready to start school according to this report, that must be because the BC Liberals don’t fund schools enough hey?

      You need to read my comment below. The Federal government has come up big time to reduce child poverty with the child tax benefit. In fact, it’s nearly impossible for a single mother with a child to be in poverty. A single mother with one child gets 1410.00 (if I”m reading the welfare chart correctly) a month in welfare, plus another $600.00 in child benefits for a net tax free of 24,000.00 a year, which is just barely above the poverty line. Plus she can go to the food bank and she doesn’t have the expense of going to work.

      Again, no one seems to be working with the current situation, they are looking at the past situation.

      As an aside, that Syrian family whose mother held on giving labour so the child would be born in Canada, is eligible for $29,000.00 tax free a year in child tax benefit. I think we Canadian taxpayers are pretty generous to poor families. My total tax bill for 2016 is going to support just one refugee family. And here I hoped it would go for education, roads, hospitals etc. Silly me.

      @ BeingHuman Unfortunately, the same people who think solving child poverty is a parental responsibility, will in the next breath tell you that we should take care of our homeless, our veterans and Canadians first before taking refugees. The fact is they just don’t care about their neighbours living in poverty as long as they are benefiting from the way it is now.

      Self-centered greed? You summed it up nicely anniemartin! I don’t believe it is a “Liberal” value, but most definitely James Moore Conservative kind of value and belief! Some of these comments are Alternative Right; Donald Trump kind of ugly!!!

      Annie you make no sense, of course we should spend money at home first before spending billions on refugees, what does that have to do with child poverty? Child poverty means the child has parents who make less money than a certain level annually nothing more nothing less

      BHs new buzz word is Alt-right?

      Dippers gotta hate, hate, hate (those who aren’t dippers)

      I don’t mind Liberals, but the people who are posting some of these despicable comments are no where even close to being “Liberal”! I don’t believe for a second, that any real Liberal would possess the hate, contempt, and derision for people and children in poverty, that some have on this site!

      So we know these people are not Liberals, they are definitely not NDP, so who are they? The answer is some kind of new Alt Right breed of Conservative, the kind that would side with the KKK, and the American Nazi Party, to support support someone like Donald Trump!

      Wow BeingHuman, you really are showing your true colours!

      So, just to get this straight, you think that anybody that disagrees with you and who posts a comment that is not to your liking, is now someone who would side with the KKK and the American Nazi Party?

      Are you for real? Seriously Dude, are your for real?

      I think that it’s getting pretty darn near time for you to start thinking up your next moniker for this site, as the way that you are going, you might just get booted again!


Stop having kids if you can’t afford them? That would make a huge dent in the child poverty numbers. Oh wait, that’s not a politically correct thing to say.

    How do we address the situation of welfare and poverty without also addressing high birth rates within the ranks of those who clearly are unable to afford more children, let alone afford the children that they already have?

    How do we address the issue of having children and the ability to provide for “your” children after you have them?

    Who should have the responsibility to get this message out? Is it the Government’s responsibility, the family’s responsibility, the extended family’s responsibility, the community’s responsibility, or is it the individual’s responsibility?

    Birth control is effective and it’s cheap, a whole lot cheaper than the costs of raising a child! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out!

      We’re actually heading toward a perfect storm. The productive and taxpaying baby boomers are leaving the workforce, and the fastest growing segment of the population are historically tax consumers, not tax payers. At some point in time, those paying in will not be able to afford to carry those taking out. I truly hope and pray that when I’m 80 years old and need care, that Being Human is Prime Minister of Canada and shows us how you can fund everything even when there’s not enough people to pay for it.

      Hart Guy states: “Birth control is effective and it’s cheap, a whole lot cheaper than the costs of raising a child! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out!”

      Yet in 2010, his hero Harper government’s international aid plan omits funding for birth control. Opposition parties were stunned that the Harper government won’t support birth control as part of its foreign-aid plans for maternal health.

      www .thestar.com/news/canada/2010/03/17/harper_governments_aid_plan_omits_birth_control.html

      HG and his precious Conservative ilk, forever the hypocrites!

      BeingHuman, I don’t think that the Harper Government or any Canadian Government for that matter has the responsibility to provide free birth control as part of a foreign aid package to any foreign country! You state that the Opposition Parties were stunned? Would that be your “let the government pay for absolutely freaking everything and drive us deeper into debt than we’ve ever been before” Liberal or NDP parties?

      I also don’t think that any Canadian Government should be providing free birth control to Canadians!

      Where does personal responsibility end and government responsibility begin?

      You keep mentioning Alt-Right Conservatives! I consider myself a Right-Wing Conservative and I’ve already asked you how you define Alt-Right Wing Conservatives versus Right Wing Conservatives and you never replied. Please let me know and while you are at it, how would you define Left-Wing versus Alt-Left Wing?

    make a dent, not really. Just look at the bus load after bus load of refugees coming into Canada. All we are doing is creating A welfare system to sustain these people. Then are they to be thrown into poverty…highly unlikely. People like Axman and myself and others who pay for all of this whether we like it or not.

      Most refugees that come to this country try their hardest to become productive members of society. That’s what the social safety net is for, helping people out while they get on their feet.

You need a licence to drive a car, fish, hunt, boat,and just about everything else you can think of but the most important one of all. Any idiot can have a child. It is no wonder that there is poverty. Just look at the grocery store what “poor” families have in their carts. Junk food and crap. A little education in cooking and you can buy easy healthy ingredients for cheaper than processed foods and make nutritious meals. Also why do you always see the poorest parents smoking and gambling? A friend of mine always points out poor people smoking to his kids and says”if you want to be poor smoke.” Lots of good examples of this around town

I’m confused. You get $6400.00 tax free dollars from the Federal government, another $600.00 from the province (kids under 6) and $5400.00 for kids over 6. How can you not feed and clothe a 2 year old on almost $600.00 per month – and that’s not taking into account what you get from welfare and/or a low income job.

A single mother with 2 kids is taking home tax free (including welfare) about the same as someone making $30,000.00 per year.

This is above (barely) the poverty line if you don’t live in Metro Vancouver, and I think an argument can be made that if you are on welfare with 2 kids, you don’t need to live in Vancouver, you can relocate almost anywhere in the province since your income isn’t dependent on where you live.

I think a lot of these studies are either ignoring or haven’t factored in the enhanced Child Tax Benefit that we are running deficits to provide.

Oh ya-no problem. Single mother with two small children just hop on a bus and re-locate. What a bunch of losers with some of these comments. Sounds like the judge that told the woman why don’t you just keep your legs together.

    I was thinking more of moving from Vancouver to Langley. You know, drop the rent from 1500.00 a month you can’t afford to 800.00 a month you can afford, and then you can buy your kids food. Comparing rape to a sensible solution to deal with poverty – seriously?

      Working people move to different communities in order to make a better life for themselves and their families! People take promotions and job transfers to a new town or city, again as a way to get ahead and to provide a better life for themselves and their families! I know some people that have uprooted themselves and their families several times over a 10 or 20 year period, taking promotions and job transfers in their search for a better life!

      So, ski51, I absolutely 100% support your idea of moving low income people to a place that they can afford a better standard of living! If you can’t afford to live in Vancouver on welfare, then perhaps you can afford to live in Quesnel, or Castlegar, or Chetwynd, or Smithers or somewhere else where the rents aren’t excessive! I can’t afford to live in Vancouver, but I’m supposed to pay more in taxes so that someone on welfare can afford to live in Vancouver? I don’t think so!

Just go down to the casino/bingo hall the first few days after welfare wednesday & you will see WHY there is child poverty. I’ll bet the owner of the casino’s family is above poverty line.

Amazing, what is happening here, 54 comments on a cats story, yet not even half of that number on something as important as extremely high child poverty rates in Northern BC affecting their health outcomes.

It seems to be too much for some on here to face up to, thus the strange and detached responses to this very important news story. Folks, what we have here is a classic example of Cognitive Dissonance: In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress (discomfort) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values, when performing an action that contradicts those beliefs, ideas, and values; or when confronted with new information that contradicts existing beliefs, ideas, and values.

Yes, there is no possible way the Liberal Government, I have been loyal to and have supported for so long, could even allow almost 40% of children, in one of our BC Northern cities, to live in POVERTY!!! I cannot accept these new disturbing facts, we must blame someone, anyone that does not include my precious pro-right political government and party!

Here is my prediction; between now and May 9th, the BC Liberals will FINALLY announce some kind of initiative to reduce child poverty in our province, not because they care, but because they want to win the election… this is my opinion!

    And the NDP who you adore did nothing in their 10 years to combat child poverty except call those on social assistance vagrants and lower the welfare rates and make it harder to collect. They sure put the most vulnerable families first hey?

    Funny though that you correlate the comments to the importance of a story

    You are turning into a troll slinky, posting comment after comment with no stated source to back your comments up. What is the matter? Tired of researching? Tired of trying to keep up?

    Well I am just getting started when it comes to exposing this incompetent, unethical, and uncaring, government! Nearly 40% of all children living in Prince Rupert are living in POVERTY!!! What are we? Some kind of third world African country? SHAME!!!

      Well now, BH, just how do you propose to reduce the child poverty rate in a place like Prince Rupert, say? Or anywhere else, for that matter? If you just increase the amount of money paid the parents, how do you know it’s going to be of any benefit to their kids? Or even the parents, for that matter?

      They might just spend more than they already do, smoking, gambling, drinking, etc., while the kids are still malnourished, and suffering all the other ill effects of poverty, might they not? So how do you ensure that doesn’t happen?

      The States tried to address this issue by issuing ‘Food Stamps’ instead of money. That might have been an improvement, at least it was an attempt, to try to ensure social assistance wasn’t going where it shouldn’t be.

      But there was widespread fraud, too, and a lot of money that was intended to help alleviate poverty still just wasted. So tell us how we could do it? Do we need an army of bureaucrats to ensure those who won’t take any personal responsibility for themselves or their offspring’s well being are tended to? Or do we just reduce everyone to poverty, so no one feels left out, and see what happens? I’d really like to know.

      I did research, and the the NDP did nothing for child poverty at all during their term, it even went up in the middle of their term. They went so far as to make welfare harder to get for recipients – the most vulnerable of our society, oh the SHAME

      I do wonder why the kettle calls the pot black

      How many children were living in poverty in Prince Rupert in the 90s? Have a comparison? Maybe they were doing better and the rest of BC was a lot worse?

Correct me if I’m wrong ,a refugee is a person coming from a place that is no longer hospitable for them.An immigrant comes from a hospitable country and goes through a multi year process to come here.Accepting refuges is the Canadian way.That is why when we travel to other countries we are treated pretty good.

Another overarching theme (in Northern Health’s Report on Needs) was improving supports for youth for mental health and substance abuse issues. Why? Because this Christy Clark Government has come up woefully short on addressing the Fentanyl Overdose Crisis among our youth!

“There’s definitely blood on the premier’s hands”: B.C. government fails to deliver fentanyl crisis fix! Christy Clark is not even close to being on track to meet her 2013 campaign promise to add 500 treatment beds by 2017. The Health Ministry says there are 203 publicly funded residential treatment beds for addicts ages 12 to 18, but CBC researchers could only verify 117. When CBC News asked for a list of all youth treatment beds, the ministry suggested we file a Freedom of Information request….” WTF?

“There are safety and privacy concerns about revealing the location of specific youth substance use services,” spokeswoman Kristy Anderson said in a statement. To which the NDP’s Hammell responded: “I can’t find them and families can’t find them, you can’t find them, I don’t think they exist.” We also found only 24 private beds, which charge as much as $76,000 for a six-month program. B.C.’s child advocate insists only 20 provincially funded addiction beds are available, after her recent review of the province’s addiction services.”

ht tp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/fentanyl-crisis-christy-clark-response-1.3753321

Lets see BH where is all the money going to come from when the elitists will not let the north dig or pump for money?

Now I am going to let the elephant in the room out of its cage seeing this is a very PC article and responses. Lets apply race to break down those in poverty.
If dear leader would quit his quest for a noble prize sending our money to despot third world countries and instead apply to our third world conditions maybe, just maybe we might see some improvement.

seamutt—I agree with your elephant I the room comment.

In BC, many people in poverty have jobs and work hard, but their earnings are not enough to keep them above the poverty line. Two of the largest costs for families living in poverty are housing and childcare. Poverty continues to be most prominent in specific marginalized populations, such as Aboriginal peoples, queer and trans people, people with disabilities, recent immigrants, lone-mother households and single senior women… In fact, the number of B.C. families experience food insecurity jumps to nearly one quarter of “single-parent” households in the province.

ht tp://www.cwp-csp.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2015-Province-Poverty-Profiles_BC.pdf

socredible asks how to we fix the high poverty rates in Prince Rupert, and in British Columbia, the answers are in the above link. Now if you have any questions about those solutions, contact the BC Coalition Against Poverty.

    BH the article does not mention how to pay for all that. If we are not allowed to dig or pump the money out of the ground, which would employ a lot of people by the way, where does the money come from?

    Aboriginals are always mentioned but the majority of them come from communities that would benefit if digging and pumping was allowed.

    What’s the issue with queer and trans people not having jobs? I know quite a few in that demographic and are doing quite well.

    BH, I don’t doubt for a moment that many people who are below the poverty line are hard workers and in spite of that are still not able to obtain jobs which pay them enough to live very well on, let alone ever advance.

    Nor do I doubt that there are many others who are highly skilled at milking the system of social assistance for everything they can get out of it, and have little or no interest in ever working to better themselves in any ‘traditional’ sense. To many of them, having another kid is simply a means to a larger meal ticket. Only a lot of times that meal ticket isn’t spent on their kids, but for the, shall we say, further “pursuit of happiness” for the parent. I’ve known, and know, people in both camps.

    I do not think the ones in the latter camp can be ‘reformed’. As for the ones in the former, it does them little good to raise their incomes if those incomes subsequently lead to still higher prices. If this were NOT the case, the previous increases in minimum wage, or all wages, for that matter, would have reduced poverty long ago. And they haven’t. More often they seem to have extended it.

    So it seems to me that if we’re serious in really wanting to solve the problem we have to start looking where we haven’t been looking before. And that is how to raise the incomes of the working poor WITHOUT those raises being costed into prices or taxes and defeating the purpose. To do that requires an examination of the money system itself.

It is not to hard to see why we have the working poor. Wages have not kept up with the cost of living and the gap is getting wider all the time. IMO min. wage needs to be increased to a living wage or all you will see is more people using the food banks and an increase in people on welfare. And who is going to pay for that? Our friendly Steven H did not help the system by bringing in 75000 TFW,s to BC and guarantee employers that they would only have to pay min wage for 3-4 yrs. No need to give anyone a raise when you can import cheap labor.

Agreed oldman1, the part about the abuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and how it negatively impacted on domestic Canadian’s looking for work that paid above poverty wages in now a documented historic fact.

socredible, has his commonly regurgitated response to the raise in minimum wage suggestion for relieving poverty… and I yet again will post links that show there is next to no impact on the price of goods and service sold as a result of increasing minimum wages.

This example is from the Seattle, a city that raised it’s minimum wage to $15 per hour a couple of years back.

ht tp://www.washington.edu/news/2016/04/18/early-analysis-of-seattles-15-wage-law-effect-on-prices-minimal-one-year-after-implementation/

Not to worry folks, socredible will not accept this study, and in a few months will be back to regurgitating the same old price increase scare… and round-round we go.

    BeingHuman, once again and as always, you present “facts and truths” that are crap!

    You state that Seattle has raised it’s minimum wage to $15.00 per hour a couple of years back! I suspect that you say this in an attempt to lead people to believe that all of Seattle’s minimum wage earners have been paid $15.00 per hour for a couple of years already! This is absolutely FALSE!

    It’s FALSE, and I suggest that you already know that it’s FALSE!

    The TRUTH is that Seattle approved a $15.00 per hour minimum wage back in 2014, however the wage increase was not immediate and would in FACT be implemented over several years based on a number of factors!

    The FACTS:

    “The increase to $15 in Seattle will take place over several years based on a scale that considers the size of and benefits offered by an employer. It will apply first to many large businesses in 2017 and then to all businesses by 2021.

    The first increase, on April 1, 2015, brings the minimum wage to $10 for some businesses and $11 for others.”

    BeingHuman, once again your “Facts and Truths” are a gross misrepresentation of the real “Facts and Truths”!

    ht tp://money.cnn.com/2014/06/02/news/economy/seattle-minimum-wage/index.html

      ….and in addition to the increase being phased in over a long period of time, the increases were not met with applause by everyone! In fact, there have been indications that the $15.00 plan backfired to some degree!

      “Surprise! Leftist minimum wage policy backfires in Seattle suburb”

      “At the Clarion Hotel off International Boulevard, a sit-down restaurant has been shuttered, though it might soon be replaced by a less-labor-intensive cafe…

      Other businesses have adjusted in ways that run the gamut from putting more work in the hands of managers, to instituting a small “living-wage surcharge” for a daily parking space near the airport.”

      ht tp://www.unitedliberty.org/articles/17751-warning-to-seattle-seatac-businesses-slashing-benefits-overtime-in-wake-of-wage-hike

      “It’s hard for people to pay $15 for a ‘to pho,’ ” Pham says, referring to the Vietnamese translation of a bowl of soup. “The culture of Vietnamese restaurants means we have to be price aggressive.”

      Pham says they are considering scaling down employment, possibly ending sit-down service and transitioning to a “fast-casual” concept to cut down on labor costs.”

      Cut down on labour costs? Hmmmm, fewer hours or lay-offs!

      ht tp://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/to-see-the-effects-of-the-minimum-wage-hike-follow-the-pho/

      From NBC News:

      “Lawsuit Challenges Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage”

      ht tp://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/lawsuit-challenges-seattles-15-minimum-wage-n128946

      ….more, this from the Huffington Post!

      “U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Joins Lawsuit Against ‘Discriminatory’ Seattle Minimum Wage Hike”

      ht tp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/chamber-of-commerce-seattle-minimum-wage_n_5680004.html

      BeingHuman, obviously it appears that Seattle’s $15.00 minimum wage, which has yet to be fully implemented, has not been the panacea that the socialist in Seattle’s City Council thought it would be!

      So, how do you like my “FACTS AND TRUTHS” about Seattle’s $15.00 minimum wage?

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