EDITORIAL: Child poverty not a quick fix

Seasonal charity alone won’t solve growing problem

Everyone is gearing up for the Christmas season, that wonderful time of year focused on giving. There are food drives collecting for the food bank, and campaigns of all kinds to help those in need, including toy drives trying to ensure all children have something waiting for them under the Christmas tree.

This is a great thing, and it is good-hearted people that both organize and contribute to them. But the best they can hope for, and it is a good goal, is to alleviate some of the need.

The sad fact is, the issue of child poverty is not going to be solved by a once-a-year campaign.

According to the annual report released by First Call, a coalition of advocacy groups, child poverty is on the rise in B.C. rather than declining. The B.C. Child Poverty Report Card says 153,000 children were living below the poverty line in this province in 2012.

Last year, the report said 169,240 children.

First Call set out 19 recommendations in their report with a goal of reducing the provincial child poverty rate to seven per cent by 2020.

The recommendations cover a range, from raising the minimum wage to increased child tax benefits and rescinding cuts to Employment Insurance. But what they all have in common is the need for provincial and federal governments to address the problem.

Back in 1989 – yes, 25 years ago – all political parties in the House of Commons collectively vowed to end child poverty in a decade.

We’re still waiting. And, obviously, it’s not an easy solution to come by, but when we see the enormity of the problem of child poverty, it is clear it is time for upper levels of government to join in the fight to make some long-term change.

We can’t wait another 25 years.

– Black Press

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
School bus driver laments motorists who pass while red lights are flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

A cyclist navigates the shoulder in traffic along Oak Bay Avenue in Victoria. (John Luton Photo)
Oak Bay council supports Fort Street bike lanes

Victoria bike lanes would connect to Cadboro Bay Road

The Victoria Fire Department extinguished a 15 foot tent fire in the 500-block of Ellice Street Jan. 19. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police investigating after 15-foot flames engulf tent

Flames damage nearby business in 500-block of Ellice Street

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

Most Read