Media Releases
Learn More About ESPC In The News, News Releases, And General News About The Organization.
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  • 79th Annual General Meeting

    79th Annual General Meeting

    Please join the Board and Staff of the Edmonton Social Planning Council to celebrate our accomplishments in the past year, and to hear about upcoming activities of the council! Your membership must be current in order to vote. Membership may be purchased or renewed at the door. When: May 23, 2019 Where: Edmonton Food Bank Annex - 11434-120 Street (The facility Read More
  • 2018 Vital Topics - The Arts

    2018 Vital Topics - The Arts

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, VITAL TOPICS, that are timely and important to Edmonton.  This edition focuses on The Arts. ARTS include a wide variety of creative disciplines including: Read More
  • 2018 Vital Topics - Senior Women in Edmonton

    2018 Vital Topics - Senior Women in Edmonton

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, VITAL TOPICS, that are timely and important to Edmonton. Watch for these in each issue of Legacy in Action, and in the full issue Read More
  • Edmonton Vital Signs 2018

    Edmonton Vital Signs 2018

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, Vital Topics, that are timely and important to Edmonton - specifically Women, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Edmonton, Visible Minority Women, and Senior Women. Each of these topics appear in Read More
  • CBC News - Living wage in Edmonton is going up but that isn't good

    CBC News - Living wage in Edmonton is going up but that isn't good

    Radio Active with Adrienne Pan Interview with Sandra Ngo, Edmonton Social Planning Council. Click here to listen to the interview   Read More
  • Media Release: Edmonton Living Wage 2018 Update

    Media Release: Edmonton Living Wage 2018 Update

    June 21, 2018 For Immediate Release Edmonton Living Wage 2018 Update Contending with Costs For the first time in 2 years, the living wage for Edmonton has risen. For 2018, an income earner must make $16.48 per hour to support a family of four, an increase of $0.17 per hour from last year’s living wage. The living wage is intended Read More
  • 2018 Vital Topics - Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

    2018 Vital Topics - Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, VITAL TOPICS, that are timely and important to Edmonton. Watch for these in each issue of Legacy in Action, and in the full issue Read More
  • 2018 Vital Topics - Visible Minority Women in Edmonton

    2018 Vital Topics - Visible Minority Women in Edmonton

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, VITAL TOPICS, that are timely and important to Edmonton. Watch for these in each issue of Legacy in Action, and in the full issue Read More
  • More Alberta families worked part-time, or part year, as the province’s oil economy took a downturn, Statistics Canada study shows

    More Alberta families worked part-time, or part year, as the province’s oil economy took a downturn, Statistics Canada study shows

     By Catherine GriwkowskyStarMetro Edmonton Thu., May 17, 2018 Original Article - click here EDMONTON—Pipeline inspector and project manager turned stay-at-home dad Chad Miller is pinning his family’s future on the approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline as he searches for work to pay off debt. “I’ve got more qualifications than I know what to do with and I can’t even get Read More
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New Report Challenges Government to Fulfill Promise to End Child Poverty

Click here: No Change - After 25 years of promises it's time to eliminate child poverty to dlownload the report.

The Edmonton Social Planning Council, the Alberta College of Social Workers and Public Interest Alberta released a new report, “No Change: After 25 years of Promises it is Time to Eliminate Child Poverty” on the 25th anniversary of the all party House of Commons vote to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000.

The report shows that 143,200 children in Alberta lived below the low-income measure (LIM After Tax) in 2012. This represents 16.2% of all children, practically ‘no change’ from 1989 (16.4%). In fact, with Alberta’s population growth, there are 28,670 more children in poverty in Alberta than in 1989.

“The statistics come from federal taxfiler data (Statistics Canada has cut the data source that has been used for years - the SLID) so this provides a much more accurate and detailed picture of poverty in Alberta and Canada,” explains John Kolkman, the main report author and Research Coordinator of the Edmonton Social Planning Council. "The taxfiler data is more accurate because it includes families with a lower socio-economic status who are missed in surveys because of language barriers or not having a phone, and children and youth living on First Nations."

The report shows that despite Alberta’s strong economy, Alberta’s income inequality has increased faster than the national average, with the top 1% of earners seeing real income gains of over 60% since 1982 while the bottom half of income earners only saw a tiny gain of 3.4%.

“With close to 60% of children living in poverty having at least one parent working full time, full year, we need to be considering living wage policies that will assure that people working full time are not living in poverty,” said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “By re-establishing a progressive tax system, Alberta could easily afford to invest in the public services that prevent and reduce poverty and in a child tax benefit that that would lift many families out of poverty.”

The report calls on the government to establish a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy that includes increasing investments in many current strategies that are proven to reduce poverty and to make new commitments to policies and services like quality childcare and affordable housing that support families to get out of poverty.

The Alberta government’s plan to eliminate child poverty is long overdue,” says Lori Sigurdson, Manager, Professional Affairs of the Alberta College of Social Workers. “We know how to achieve this. Our report details key policy initiatives that would lift Alberta families out of poverty and reduce much suffering. Sadly, what seems to be missing is the political will to make this a priority.”

The report shows that child poverty is directly related to the systemic issues that create barriers and impact women, immigrants, aboriginal peoples and people with health issues. For example 69% of low wage-workers (less than $16/hour) are women, and women still only make around 60% on average in Alberta of what a man earns.

“We know that when women are poor, the children they care for are also poor,” said Rhoda Mitchell, Social Issues Coordinator at the Women’s Centre of Calgary. “Women living in poverty have identified priority solutions: increase income, increase access to affordable childcare, and strengthen Alberta’s social infrastructure. We believe that ending child poverty lies in ending women’s poverty.”

While the new child poverty numbers now include families on reserve it is not possible to determine from the taxfiler data the exact number of children on first nation’s reserves living in poverty. However, we do know that a significant reason for the very high numbers of children in poverty is related to the systemic discrimination and mistreatment of FNMI peoples that must be addressed in Alberta’s comprehensive poverty strategy.

“Child poverty in the Aboriginal community is a serious issue that negatively affects our future leaders,” said Rachelle Venne, CEO of the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women. “Collaborative, multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the City of Edmonton's Taskforce on Eliminating Poverty which has a specific engagement process with the Aboriginal community is what is needed for the systemic and long term change that is necessary for the future.”

"I am appalled to know that there are so many hungry and homeless children in our rich province," said Sandra Burgess, with the Child Well-being Initiative. “As a parent and dietitian who spent my career on food issues, I cannot understand why our government and other citizens don’t see that unmet needs of impoverished kids constitute an emergency.”

Media contacts:

At the media conference in Calgary at Hillhust United Church in Calgary at 10:00 AM (1227 Kensington Close NW)

Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director, Public Interest Alberta (780) 993-3736

 

At the media conference at Amity House in Edmonton at 10:30 AM (9213 146 Ave)

John Kolkman, Research Coordinator, Edmonton Social Planning Council 587 989-4442

Lori Sigurdson, Professional Affairs Manager, Alberta College of Social Workers (780) 850-219

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    If you are passionate about equitable social policy and making a difference in your community, consider supporting the Edmonton Social Planning Council by joining our team as a volunteer member of our Board of Directors.

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