Media Release
June 15, 2011

The Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC) released data compiled by Statistics Canada confirming that the recent recession caused a dramatic increase in poverty in Alberta in 2009.  Edmonton was particularly hard hit by this poverty spike. “According to Statistics Canada, the number of Albertans living below the Market Basket Measure of Low Income increased from 210,000 in 2008 to 353,000 in 2009, a 68% increase,” said John Kolkman, the ESPC’s Research Coordinator.  “The number of Alberta children living in low income increased from 60,000 to 105,000 between 2008 and 2009, a 75% increase.”

Kolkman noted that the numbers for metro Edmonton are even worse.  “One in eight people (12%) in Edmonton (144,000) lived in poverty in 2009.  Almost one in five (19.2%) children lived in poverty.  This translates into 51,000 children in our community.

“While the recent recession caused poverty to rise in most of the country, nowhere were the increases as dramatic as in our province or region,” Kolkman emphasized.  “After a decade of slow declines in poverty rates, this sudden spike underlines the need for urgent action.”

“Most other provinces are working with their communities on positive solutions involving real targets and timelines to reduce poverty.  While the city and province deserve to be commended for their work on eliminating homelessness, this new data shows a broader effort to tackle poverty is needed as well.”

Kolkman called on all Alberta political parties and leadership candidates to make poverty reduction a top priority.  “A good place to start would be investing in a refundable Alberta Child Benefit to supplement existing federal child tax benefits.  Other provinces like Ontario and Manitoba are finding child tax benefits to be a very effective way to reduce child and family poverty,” he concluded.
 

-30-

For more information contact:
John Kolkman, Research Coordinator
(780) 423-2031 x350
(587) 989-4442 (mobile)

Statistics Canada Analysis Report available here.

 

Our Team

 

Please click on an individual team member name for more information and to contact them directly. Click here for the general contact form.

Susan Morrissey

Susan Morrissey

Executive Director

Jenn Rossiter

Jenn Rossiter

Research Services and Capacity Building Coordinator

Rowan El-Bialy

Rowan El-Bialy

Strategic Research Coordinator

Sydney Sheloff

Sydney Sheloff

Research Officer

Brett Lambert

Brett Lambert

Community Engagement Coordinator

Justine Basilan

Justine Basilan

Executive Assistant

Blog

Latest Blog Post:

Social Well-Being Tracker

 

Our social well-being indicators are based on social determinants of health. These indicators are the economic and social conditions that shape the health of individuals and communities.

Digital Resources

Latest Upload:

Contact Info

et|icon_pin|

10544 – 106 Street NW, Suite 200 (Bassani Building)
Edmonton, Alberta T5H 2X6

et|icon_phone|

780-423-2031

Follow On

Go to the Staff directory: Click Here

Share This