Thursday, September 13, 2007

Child Poverty Leaves Little To Be Proud Of

Child poverty in Canada is a testament to a free-market economy and laissez-faire public policies that fail to preserve any sense of basic justness.
Nearly 26% of Canadian families with children are headed by a single-parent. Twenty-four percent of families with children in Toronto are headed by a single-parent, among whom, 83% are headed by women. (http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/255728)
Children in single-parent families are among the most vulnerable to experience poverty. Campaign2000.ca reports that over 50% of Canadian children in low-income homes live in lone-parent families headed by females.
In the wake of Ontario’s upcoming election, Ontarians must push politicians to address the 44% of Canada poor children who reside in this province. Tangible policy tools must be promised, starting with a government funded and regulated day care system that better enables parents to earn an income while children are being tended to during the primal years of development.
With an Ontario program in place, other provinces are territories are more likely to follow suit. The establishment of national daycare program can only become all the more possible, as was the case with the establishment of Medicare after Saskatchewan introduced publicly funded healthcare in the 1960s.
Evidence that daycare is the key to reducing child poverty is made apparent in Sweden where daycare is universally accessible and child poverty is the lowest among all other industrialized countries. Note that the wealthiest country in the world, the United States, consistently exhibits some of the worst child poverty rates among all other industrialized nations (http://www.unicef.org/media/files/ChildPovertyReport.pdf); tragically, more disgraceful than Canada.

*images courtesy of
www.campaign2000.ca

2 comments:

Cynthia said...

Well said. Children living under the poverty line are facing an uphill battle but it does not need to be a hopeless fight. One other aspect that I think needs to be address is equal access to quality education for both children and adults of all abilities regardless of income.

angela_day2110 said...

As stated by Rahul – and I'm paraphrasing – many children living under the poverty line are raised by single mothers. I feel that not only should we demand that politicians address children’s issues in the upcoming election, but also vote for MMP in the referendum. MMP has proven to increase the number of female members of legislator/parliament, in the countries which have adopted said system. Though, I believe men try to understand women’s issues, only women can truly understand them. Therefore, we will not have true representation in Canada, until we have a fairly representative government. As is stands, women who make up over half of the population, and are embarrassingly unrepresented in our government. Can we began to realistically resolve, what appears to be a mostly women’s issue, without women’s voices in legislators/parliaments?
Angela Day
York University