Media Releases
Learn More About ESPC In The News, News Releases, And General News About The Organization.
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  • Bake Sale in Support of the United Way

    Bake Sale in Support of the United Way

    Bake Sale Edmonton Social Planning Council #200, 10544 106 Street (Bassani Building) Wednesday, November 27, 2019 9:00am - 4:00 pm Pricing is by donation. Enjoy some baked goods and learn more about our work! 100% of the proceeds go directly to the United Way, which is working with partners in the community to help end poverty in Edmonton. Poverty is #Unignorable Read More
  • Lunch and Learn - December 10, 2019

    Lunch and Learn - December 10, 2019

    December 10, 2019 12:00 Noon - 1:30 PM Program Room - Stanley Milner Library (Enterprise Square Branch) 10212 Jasper Avenue Topic: Prevent It! Taking Action to Stop Child Sexual Abuse Please note: Registration is required for this event. Please CLICK HERE to register. About this presentation: The Edmonton Social Planning Council's Lunch & Learn Series is a series of engaging lunch-time talks about social Read More
  • 2019 Seasonal Celebration

    2019 Seasonal Celebration

    Our Board of Directors and Staff wish to extend an invitation to you to join us in celebrating the holidays at our office! Light snacks and refreshments will be served. When: December 5th, 4:00 to 6:00 pm Where: Suite #200, 10544 106 Street (Bassani Building) Read More
  • Opinion: Budget is a setback for lower-income Albertans

    Opinion: Budget is a setback for lower-income Albertans

    Susan Morrissey, Executive Director of the Edmonton Social Planning Council provided the recent Op-Ed in the Edmonton Journal. Read the full version here: https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-budget-is-a-setback-for-lower-income-albertans Download the Fact Sheet here: 2019 Alberta Budget fACTsheet Excerpt from the Edmonton Journal: With the UCP tabling their first budget, there is a lot of talk of what this means. Depending on who you ask, this Read More
  • 2019 Alberta Provincial Budget Fact Sheet

    2019 Alberta Provincial Budget Fact Sheet

    Download: 2019 Alberta Budget fACTsheet Introduction The 2019 budget, which runs until March 31, 2020, is titled A Plan for Jobs and the Economy. The main priorities it identifies is creating jobs and reducing the deficit. We are now almost 7 months into the 2019-20 budget year, so many of the big changes announced will not take effect until next spring’s Read More
  • Public Engagement on Affordable Housing Report

    Public Engagement on Affordable Housing Report

    Access to stable and quality housing can produce positive outcomes to community health and education, and ultimately improve neighbourhood conditions and perceptions. Families that are in unstable housing are more likely to face intergenerational poverty. Living in unsafe neighbourhoods could have detrimental effects on physical and mental health. Despite these benefits, there is still formidable public opposition to providing quality Read More
  • A Profile of Poverty in Edmonton - May 2019 Update

    A Profile of Poverty in Edmonton - May 2019 Update

    Read the full report (click on the link):A Profile of Poverty in Edmonton - May 2019 Update Click to download: 2016 Federal Census Neighbourhood Summary Click to download: Map: Prevalence of Low Income After-Tax (All Ages) Click to download: Map: Prevalence of Low Income After-Tax (0 to 17) INTRODUCTION Poverty affects people from all walks of life – young, old, employed, unemployed, those Read More
  • 2019 Vital Topics - Indigenous Women in Alberta

    2019 Vital Topics - Indigenous Women in Alberta

    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 Indigenous Women in Alberta.   Download: Vital Topic - Indigenous Women in 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
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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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