The BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition is calling on the BC government to do something now to reduce child poverty, with almost 21 percent of kids in the province living in poverty. The national anti poverty group, Campaign 2000 set the poverty line at $21,000 for two people living in a city of 500,000 or more, and $32,000 for a family of four living in such a community. The Tyee has also commented suggesting that one in five B.C. children is poor, making the province’s child poverty rate the highest in Canada for the fourth consecutive year.Hold on for just one darn minute.One in five B.C. children living in poverty???$21,000 for two people or $32,000 for a family of four is poverty????What these three news items are trying to described isn't poverty; they're describing instead income inequality. When they use Stats Canada's low income cut off as the measurement for poverty what they are really doing is comparing how people are living relative to other Canadians. The low income cut off method has never been considered a poverty line by Statistics Canada. "Statistics Canada has clearly and consistently emphasized, since their publication began over 25 years ago, that the LICOs are quite different from measures of poverty". If a family doesn't have a colour television or a cell phone are they now considered poor?
These social activists need to give their heads a shake.To say that one in every five children is living in poverty in British Columbia, is quite frankly - bullshit!And what are they calling on the BC government to do to reduce this so called "child poverty"?They want the minimum wage raised to $10.50/hour, eliminate the $6.00/hour training wage and to increase BC's welfare rates.Well of course they do.
The BC Government in its 2007 budget already increased welfare rates for all those on assistance.
British Columbia already has the lowest income tax rates in Canada for low-income earners. In fact, those earning under $16,000 a year pay no provincial income tax.
Since 2001 the B.C. economy has created over new 370,000 jobs and we have the lowest unemployment rate in almost 40 years! (4.4% in BC and 4.1% in Vancouver)
British Columbia already has the highest general minimum wage rate of all the provinces.
BC's 2006 budget pledged $421 million over four years to strengthen supports for children.
For social activists to be constantly overstating the problem of poverty rates amongst children in British Columbia does a disservice to those who are most in need. Despite all the rhetoric and political posturing from these groups, (and when haven't these groups called on the BC liberal government to give more money to social causes?) - BC has done an excellent job of helping those who are most in need.