Federal Budget 2014: Children in Poverty Wait while Surplus Accumulates
Canada’s 2014 Federal Budget has no clear strategies to address Canada’s 14.3% child poverty rate and is out of step with Canadian values of caring about our neighbours’ children. “Canadians are deeply committed to their communities and neighbours and they understand that eradicating child poverty is a collective responsibility,” said Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator of Campaign 2000. “In this federal budget, government fails to play a leadership role in implementing policies that can improve the lives of over 967,000 children living in poverty in Canada. Campaign 2000 urges the government to dedicate half of the $6.5 billion projected surplus for 2015 to poverty reduction this year. Children and families in poverty should not be forced to wait for action that secures their basic dignity.”
CCPA Releases New Alternative Federal Budget 2014
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) just released its new 2014 alternative federal budget on Feb. 5, 2015. The Alternative Federal Budget 2014: Striking a Better Balance shows what the federal government could do if it decided to seriously address Canadians’ largest social, economic, and environmental concerns. It delivers a plan that would lift 855,000 Canadians out of poverty, reduce income inequality, boost the economy, lower unemployment to 5.4%—and still balance the budget one year later than the federal government plan. Specifically, it proposes to double the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) in order to reduce child poverty by 26% (Cost: $3.1 billion/year).
To learn more visit the alternative budget home page.
Canadians react swiftly to defend the federal role in eradicating child poverty
Here’s something Industry Minister James Moore should have known before he responded on Vancouver News 1130 "Is it the government's job — my job to feed my neighbour's children? I don't think so." asked yesterday about child poverty in Canada by Vancouver News 1130.
He also said “Obviously nobody wants kids to go to school hungry..., but is that always the government's job? To be there to serve people their breakfast? Empowering families with more power and resources so they can feed their own children is I think a good thing."
Campaign 2000’s latest report card shows that the federal government has a significant role to play in eradicating poverty in Canada. In 2011, 1 in 3 children who live in poverty had a parent who worked full time, full year. As well, in 2012, Canada’s involuntary part time employment rate was 5.1%, representing those who want full-time work but are unable to obtain it.
Campaign 2000 partners and others pointed out the critical role of governments in preventing and eradicating child poverty. National Coordinator Laurel Rothman completed several media interviews including Sun TV, Global National: James Moore criticized for child poverty comment
and CBC: the National on Dec. 16. Check out this Op Ed: Poverty costs Canada billions of dollars every year as well.
While Minister Moore did issue an apology, Aboriginal leader Cindy Blackstock reminds him that “an elder once said that when you do something wrong, your first job isn’t to apologize — it is to understand what you are going to apologize for."
Children’s Rights are Human Rights – Watch our New Video and Take Action
December 10, 2013, marks the UN General Assembly’s Human Rights Day. First proclaimed in 1950, this day declares human rights as a common standard for all peoples in all places around the globe. In 1989, children’s rights were recognized in the UN’s Convention on the Rights of The Child. All children are entitled to protection from abuse; provision of education, health care and an adequate standard of living; having their views heard, and; children vulnerable to discrimination are entitled to specific protections.
Canada has a long way to go to protecting children’s rights. In Canada, 967,000 children live in poverty. 1.1 million children experience food insecurity. At least 22,000 children are homeless. Poverty among Indigenous, racialized, immigrant and disabled children is disproportionately high.
Take action against child and family poverty on this Human Rights Day.
Start by watching our short video about child and family poverty in Canada.
Join us by sending a message to the Prime Ministerdemanding a federal poverty eradication plan: http://www.makepovertyhistory.ca/act/where-s-our-federal-poverty-eradication-plan.
Learn more about Children’s Rights:
- More on the Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children
- Recommendations for Canada from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child – in Youth-Friendly Language
- Dignity for All Campaign
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Campaign 2000 and Its Regional Partners Released the 2013 Report Cards on Child and Family Poverty
Toronto Star, Nov. 28, 2013: Canada fails in its promise to end child poverty: Editorial
CTV news, Nov. 26, 2013: B.C. has Canada's highest child poverty rate
Campaign 2000’s annual Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada was released on Tuesday, November 26th in Ottawa. This year marks 24 years since the unanimous House of Commons’ resolution to end child poverty in Canada by 2000 and four years after the entire House of Commons voted “to develop an immediate plan to end poverty for all in Canada.”
The 2013 national report card, entitled Canada’s REAL Economic Action Plan Begins with Poverty Eradication highlights the compelling reasons why the federal government needs to take leadership. It presents the latest statistics on child and family poverty and makes recommendations for all political parties. Federal party leaders have been invited to respond to the report card.
On the same day, several of Campaign 2000 regional partner organizations released their provincial report cards on child and family poverty as well, including Vancouver, BC, Edmonton and Calgary in Alberta, Toronto, Ontario, Saint John, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Please click on the following links for those report cards.
- National Report Card on Child and Family Poverty, 2013, in English and French
- BC Report Card on Child and Family Poverty, 2013
- Alberta Report Card on Child and Family Poverty, 2013
- ON Report Card on Child and Family Poverty, 2013, in English and French
- Nova Scotia Report Card on Child and Family Poverty, 2013
- New Brunswick Report Card on Child and Family Poverty, 2013
Join us and take e-action to send a message to our Prime Minister and all the federal party leaders today. Click here to send a letter. (http://www.makepovertyhistory.ca/act/where-s-our-federal-poverty-eradication-plan)
Other newly-released resources have been made available to highlight the key issues. Please click on the following to access them:
- Media release on the national Campaign 2000 Report Card, in English and French
- An easy-to-read infographic, in English and French