The Edmonton Social Planning Council and Public Interest Alberta released a new report that shows 53,000 Alberta children lived below Statistics Canada's low-income cut-off (after-tax) in 2008, and that number is probably higher today due to the effects of the recession on our economy.
"It is just plain wrong that in one of the wealthiest parts of the world we have so many children that are struggling in poverty," said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. "Other provinces with fewer resources are working together with their communities to come up with many different solutions, timelines and real achievable targets to address this situation. Certainly it is 'Time for Action' here in Alberta as well."
"The report clearly shows that we need to do much more than wait for the economy to rebound," says John Kolkman, Research Coordinator for the Edmonton Social Planning Council. "The majority of children living in poverty (53.8%) lived in families where the combined work activity equalled full-time for the full year."
"The good news is that a number of government programs do make a real difference. Government transfer programs lifted 36% of children above the low-income cut off in 2008 (up from 25% in 1989)," says Kolkman. "The bad news is that many important programs are being cut or scaled back and we see increasing social assistance case loads, up 45% from two years earlier (October 2010 statistic). Alberta food bank use in 2010 is at a 12 year high."
"We are very pleased to see a growing number of people who want to see Alberta adopt a strategy to reduce, prevent and eliminate poverty in Alberta," says Bill Moore-Kilgannon. "Many municipal, business and community leaders strongly support the unanimous recommendation of the Standing Committee on the Economy to establish a designed-in-Alberta poverty reduction strategy.
For more information contact:
John Kolkman, Research Coordinator, Edmonton Social Planning Council
(780) 423-2031 x350
Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director, Public Interest Alberta
(780) 423-2031 x 350
For a free copy of the report, click on the image below.