Edmonton Social Planning Council News

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Media Release
November 26, 2013

Public Interest Alberta, the Edmonton Social Planning Council and the Alberta College of Social Workers, released a new report today, entitled From Words to Action: Alberta Can Afford a Real Poverty Reduction Strategy.

The report shows that despite an improving economy, in 2011 there were 84,000 children, 29,800 of who were under the age of 6, living below the low-income measure (LIM- After Tax).

"Premier Redford's 2012 election promise to eliminate child poverty by 2017 will not be achieved unless the words in the government's soon to be released poverty reduction strategy, will be backed up with real action and investment in programs that prevent, reduce and ultimately eliminate poverty," says Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. "Social programs and public services are instrumental in supporting families, and the government will certainly not eliminate child poverty unless it stops cutting budgets and starts investing in real solutions."

"Given that an all time record 59.2 per cent of children in poverty had at least one parent working full-time, full year, we propose a number of recommendations that would reduce poverty among working poor families including; a provincial child tax benefit, increasing the minimum wage and a living wage policy for contracted services," says John Kolkman, Research Coordinator, Edmonton Social Planning Council. "The report shows that inequality is growing rapidly in Alberta so unless the government commits to targeted investments to support those who are not benefiting from our strong economy, their poverty reduction will not succeed."

"The recommendations we have identified in this report would go a long way to reaching the target of eliminating child and family poverty, and our proposed $1 billion in investments is only a fraction of the costs of poverty to people's lives and our economy," says Lori Sigurdson, Professional Affairs Manager and Chairperson of Public Interest Alberta's Human Services and Poverty Task Force. "In a province that collects $10.6 billion less in taxation than the next lowest taxed province, we outline how the government could raise from $1.2 - $2.0 billion by establishing a progressive tax and increase corporate taxes. We are calling upon Albertans to encourage the government to invest in a real strategy so that children and families are supported to reach their full potential. Now, this is a commitment worth making!" To download a copy of the report, go to www.pialberta.org or www.edmontonsocialplanning.ca The provincial report is being released on the same day as a national report by Campaign 2000 and other provincial reports on the state of child and family poverty across the country. Go to www.campaign2000.ca to see the reports. 

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The report is being released at 2 media conferences at 10:30 AM, November 26th:

  • In Calgary: CUPS - 1001-10 Ave SW, Room 206
  • In Edmonton: The Bissell Centre (East) 10527 - 96 St. (Basement) - On street parking

Both venues will have certain children in programs that can be filmed and have their pictures taken.

To view the entire document CLICK Here.

 

Media Contacts:

  • Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director, Public Interest Alberta
  • John Kolkman, Coordinator of Research, Edmonton Social Planning Council www.edmontonsocialplanning.ca
  • Lori Sigurdson, Professional Affairs Manager Alberta College of Social Workers and Chairperson of Public Interest Alberta's Human Services and Poverty Task Force