The Edmonton Social Planning Council, Public Interest Alberta, and the Alberta College of Social Workers have jointly released a new report on the challenges faced by Albertan children and youth titled “One in Six is Too Many: An Alberta Child Poverty Report” (download the full report).
“While the NDP government has proposed laudable changes in policy such as the minimum wage increase and the recent improvements to income support, much work remains,” said Sandra Ngo, Research Coordinator for the Edmonton Social Planning Council. “According to the latest analyses based on the T1 tax-filer data, child poverty rates have remained persistently high since 2006.”
As of 2016, there are 171,860 children ages 0-17 under the low-income threshold in Alberta, up from 162,200 in 2014. This equates to 17.7%, more than 1 in 6, Albertan children living in poverty. Since 2006, there has been a 23.4% growth in the number of children in Alberta living in poverty.
“Alberta is the only province in the country without a poverty reduction strategy,” said Joel French, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “Legislating a plan to eliminate poverty with targets and other accountability measures would show we are serious about addressing the problem. Our federal government now has one, as do Alberta’s major municipalities, so immediate provincial government action on this is necessary.”
“To address the growing rate of children living in poverty in Alberta, it is incumbent upon us all to tackle the root causes of poverty through programs and resources that aim to break the cycle of poverty for future generations,” adds Lynn L. King, Executive Director & Registrar of the Alberta College of Social Workers. “We strongly urge the government to collaborate with communities and stakeholders to develop and implement a provincial poverty reduction strategy that would strengthen real action to combat poverty in Alberta.”
Public Interest Alberta
Sandra Ngo, MSc
Edmonton Social Planning Council
(780)-423-2031 ex. 354
Jody-Lee Farrah, MSW, RSW
Associate Director, Professional Practice & Advocacy
Alberta College of Social Workers
(780)-421-1167 ext. 225