Trustee ‘Sickened’ by Prince George’s Child Poverty Rate
Prince George, B.C. – The Prince George School Board responded with dismay to Tuesday’s child poverty report released by the BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition.
Based on 2013 data (the most recent data available) it showed 20.4% of BC children live in poverty, 21% in Prince George.
It also found more than half (50.3%) of all children living in lone-parent families were living in poverty in 2013, compared to 13% for children in couple families.
In response to the findings, the board passed a motion, tabled by Trustee Tim Bennett.
It asked :”That the board write a letter to Premier Christy Clark and Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation calling on government to allocate resources to develop and implement a provincial strategy for reducing child and family poverty in BC.”
Afterwards, Bennett called the report both “shocking and sickening.”
He also said it would be helpful to bring back the poverty reduction pilot, shelved the beginning of this year by the provincial government.
“I think we’re in a position where we need to work together and that committee was quite effective. There was representatives from government, social service agencies, from the school district,” said Bennett.
“We were getting together on a regular basis to talk about what we can do in Prince George to support those living in poverty. We’re not saying we’re going to eliminate poverty but it’s how do you reduce it and how do you ensure everyone has the tools they need to live.”