Monday , October 3 2022

Action needs to be taken to reduce child poverty: Campaign 2000 report card


OTTAWA – Brynn Vincent was only 13 years old when he started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Two years later she was admitted and had run away from the home and then discovered she was pregnant.

He asked for treatment for reliance in a resettlement facility and then moved to a homeless shelter.

"Being in treatment with other women who are cranky and disappearing from all types of drug and alcohol while pregnant is so hard," he said. "But I finally decided that I needed to change, I need to improve – I have a baby, obviously I can not bring a baby to this type of way of life."

Now 19 and sob, Vincent lives in her own apartment with a girl and finishes her education at the Youville Center in Ottawa, a charity that provides mental health treatment and other support for young mothers and & # 39; or plant.

But her daughter is one of 1.4 million children living in poverty in Canada, 29 years after the House of Commons voted to end child poverty by 2000. Campaign 2000, a group formed to hold the government to pledge, release an annual report card on it today.

The report calls for the federal government to provide more money for the states, territories and indigenous communities to extend quality, affordable childcare.

Anita Khanna, a national co-ordinator with Campaign 2000, recognizes that the Liberal government has introduced important measures to tackle this problem, including the promotion of Canadian Child Benefit – monthly benefit -transport to help with living costs and childcare – two years earlier than planned. The benefit will now increase annually, attached to inflation.

But while this benefit helps low income families, it does not fully address the need for better access to childcare as a way of helping raise families out of poverty, he says.

"A system of cash transfers is not a good childcare provision. It does not build areas for childcare, and that is currently a huge part of the problem," he said.

Vincent believes the work of volunteers and staff in the shelter and in the Youville Center to help him to tackle the patchwork of support for single single mothers on low incomes.

But its battles are not over. Its limited income means that she is regular for help from food banks and other charities.

Its income is only about $ 7,000 a year. Without a provincial childcare subsidy, he could never have dreamed of completing his education, he said.

But if the federal government adopted universal childcare, it would help mothers like her who are struggling to end as they try to create more for their future and their children, he says .

"That would have a lot of stress on parents living in poverty, it would be less to do not worry about it constantly," says Vincent. "Many parents who work in poverty work solely to pay for childcare. So if I work every day and I'm just doing enough money to give my child in day care so that I can work … in my eyes that's ridiculous. "

Canada now has enough controlled childcare places for around 30 percent of Canada's children up to five, says Khanna. Campaign 2000 calls for Ottawa to send US $ 1 billion a year to the provinces and territories to build more day care places.

The Trudeau government recently published Canada's first anti-poverty law, which includes a promise to reduce the number of Canadians living in poverty by 50 per cent by the year 2030. No dollar figure attached to the bill.

Campaign 2000 approves the law but calls for Liberals to spend $ 6 billion on this strategy and adopt more aggressive targets: it wants to see the poverty reduction target of 50 per cent of within five years instead of 12.

"We really feel that this is a disadvantage to act on this," said Khanna. "Indeed, trying to raise only half of those children out of poverty in 12 years is ambitious enough and we know we can do better together".

– Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

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