Media releases | November 24, 2010

Report Calls on Governments and Others to Work Together To End Poverty

EDMONTON—The Edmonton Social Planning Council and Public Interest Alberta released a new report that shows 53,000 Alberta children lived below Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off (after-tax) in 2008, and that number is probably higher today due to the effects of the recession on our economy.“It is just plain wrong that in one of the wealthiest parts of the world we have so many children that are struggling in poverty,” said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “Other provinces with fewer resources are working together with their communities to come up with many different solutions, timelines and real achievable targets to address this situation. Certainly it is 'Time for Action' here in Alberta as well.”“The report clearly shows that we need to do much more than wait for the economy to rebound,” says John Kolkman, Research Coordinator for the Edmonton Social Planning Council. “The majority of children living in poverty (53.8%) lived in families where the combined work activity equalled full-time for the full year."“The good news is that a number of government programs do make a real difference. Government transfer programs lifted 36% of children above the low-income cut off in 2008 (up from 25% in 1989),” says Kolkman. “The bad news is that many important programs are being cut or scaled back and we see increasing social assistance case loads, up 45% from two years earlier (October 2010 statistic). Alberta food bank use in 2010 is at a 12 year high.”“We are very pleased to see a growing number of people who want to see Alberta adopt a strategy to reduce, prevent and eliminate poverty in Alberta,” says Bill Moore-Kilgannon. “Many municipal, business and community leaders strongly support the unanimous recommendation of the Standing Committee on the Economy to establish a designed-in-Alberta poverty reduction strategy.The full report, “Time for Action: Working Together to End Poverty in Alberta” is available on the website of Public Interest Alberta (Human Services and Poverty Task Force page on Public Interest Alberta's website) as well as on the Edmonton Social Planning Council website ( A link will also be appearing there to the national report card of Campaign 2000.-30-Media contacts:
Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director, Public Interest Alberta (780) 993-3736
John Kolkman, Research Coordinator, ESPC, (780) 423-2031 Ext 350