Poor families equal poor children: given the extent of poverty in Canada, particularly among single-parent families, it follows that many of the victims are children.By 1996, the child poverty rate in Canada reached a 17-year peak of 21 percent, affecting 1.5 million Canadian children. At the time, provincial child poverty averaged from a low of 18.5% in Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island, province (2001 pop. 135,294), 2,184 sq mi (5,657 sq km), E Canada, off N.B. and N.S. Geography
One of the Maritime Provinces, Prince Edward Island lies in the Gulf of St. to a high of 26.2% in Manitoba. Ontario, one of the wealthiest Canadian provinces Noun 1. Canadian province - Canada is divided into 12 provinces for administrative purposes
province, state - the territory occupied by one of the constituent administrative districts of a nation; "his state is in the deep south" , experienced an increase in child poverty from 11 percent in 1989 to 20.3% in 1996.
Some progress has been made since then, but not a lot. Unicef reported in March 2005 that Canada is near the bottom among the world's wealthiest nations in terms of its level of child poverty. Out of 26 developed countries, Canada held the 19th position, putting it behind the Czech Republic Czech Republic, Czech Česká Republika (2005 est. pop. 10,241,000), republic, 29,677 sq mi (78,864 sq km), central Europe. It is bordered by Slovakia on the east, Austria on the south, Germany on the west, and Poland on the north. , Hungary, and Poland, but ahead of the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. and Britain.
At about 15.6%, Canada's child poverty rate is far behind the rates in Scandinavian countries Noun 1. Scandinavian country - any one of the countries occupying Scandinavia
European country, European nation - any one of the countries occupying the European continent , which boast the lowest rates among countries covered in the report. Denmark had the lowest rate at 2.4%, followed by Finland, Norway, and Sweden. At the bottom of the list were Mexico with a child poverty rate of 27.7%, the United States, at 21.9%, and Italy, at 16.6%.
Of the 24 countries with statistics that go back to the early 1990s, the report found that child-poverty rates climbed in all but seven. It all amounts to a total of 40 to 50 million children living below national poverty lines in the world's richest countries.
The report, Child Poverty in Rich Countries 2005, says there are three key forces in determining the level of child poverty in industrial countries: social trends, labour market conditions, and government policies. The rise in the average age of parents, for example, along with the educational level of mothers and the proportion of mothers in the workforce, tend to increase the economic resources available to children. As well, a drop in earnings for fathers, particularly those at the bottom end of the income scale, also significantly increases the risk of higher numbers of children growing up poor. No surprise there.
Obviously, higher government spending Government spending or government expenditure consists of government purchases, which can be financed by seigniorage, taxes, or government borrowing. It is considered to be one of the major components of gross domestic product. on family and social benefits will affect child poverty rates too. The study found that on average, government interventions, such as family and child-oriented taxes and benefits, reduce by 40 percent the rates of child poverty that would be expected to result if market forces were left to themselves.
Interestingly though, the report also showed that poverty rates varied substantially--from three percent to 15 percent--among countries with similar levels of overall government spending. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , the amount of money spent is less important than where it is allocated: "Many countries appear to have the potential to reduce child poverty below 10 percent without a significant increase in their spending overall." It's a question of choices.
More than half of the 28 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), international organization that came into being in 1961. It superseded the Organization for European Economic Cooperation, which had been founded in 1948 to coordinate the Marshall Plan for European (OECD OECD: see Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. ) countries in the study increased the percentage of GDP GDP (guanosine diphosphate): see guanine. (Gross Domestic Product) devoted to social expenditures between 1990 and 2000. However, most of the extra funds went to pensions and health care. Meanwhile, many of them dropped the amount that went to child and family expenditures.
As a Unicef director said: "The most serious problems facing our societies in the industrialized in·dus·tri·al·ize
v. in·dus·tri·al·ized, in·dus·tri·al·iz·ing, in·dus·tri·al·iz·es
1. To develop industry in (a country or society, for example).
2. world have their roots in child poverty. Allowing the kind of poverty that denies a child the opportunities that most children consider normal, is a breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, often referred to as CRC or UNCRC, is an international convention setting out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of children. , an instrument to which almost all OECD members are committed. Making child poverty history is not just a mantra mantra (măn`trə, mŭn–), in Hinduism and Buddhism, mystic words used in ritual and meditation. A mantra is believed to be the sound form of reality, having the power to bring into being the reality it represents. for the developing world. Reducing the upward trend in child poverty rates must be a priority for all governments."
Keeping things as they are makes for grim prospects among poor children.
Many studies have shown that low-income children face higher risks than middle-income children, while high-income children face the least risks of all. For example, a 1999 study by the Canadian Council Canadian Council may refer to:
* More than one quarter of low-income children live in problem neighbourhoods--where, for example, there is drug use, excessive public drinking, or youth unrest--compared to one tenth of children in high/income families;
* Children in low-income families are twice as likely to be in the top 10 percent in terms of frequency of delinquent delinquent 1) adj. not paid in full amount or on time. 2) n. short for an underage violator of the law as in juvenile delinquent.
DELINQUENT, civil law. He who has been guilty of some crime, offence or failure of duty. behaviours, compared to children in modest-income families, and they are nearly three times as likely to have high delinquency delinquency
Criminal behaviour carried out by a juvenile. Young males make up the bulk of the delinquent population (about 80% in the U.S.) in all countries in which the behaviour is reported. scores as children in high-income families;
* Children in low-income families are more than two-and-one-half times more likely than children in high-income families to have a problem with one or more basic abilities such as vision, hearing, speech, or mobility;
* More than one third of children from low-income families exhibit delayed vocabulary development Vocabulary development is the process whereby speakers of language enhance their working vocabularies with new words.
The average persons' vocabulary consists of 10,000 words, regardless of native tongue. Usually, this represents a mere fraction of the lexis of that language. , compared to only eight percent of children in high income families;
* About three quarters of children in low-income families rarely participate in organized sports, compared to one quarter of high-income children;
* One in six teens (aged 16 to 19 years) from low-income families is neither employed nor in school, compared to only one teen in 25 from middle and high-income families.
Poverty can be a legacy handed down through generations. It starts with children who tend to be sicker, earn lower grades in school, and suffer more behavioural Adj. 1. behavioural - of or relating to behavior; "behavioral sciences"
behavioral problems. The schools they attend are not as well equipped as those in more affluent neighbourhoods where the parents advocate strongly on behalf of their kids. But, it doesn't have to be an inheritance; social scientists have recently discovered that four out of ten children raised in poverty make it to the top half of the income ladder. So what's the secret of that 40 percent? It really is all about education. Miles Corak at Statistics Canada says: "It's got something to do with education policy and access to postsecondary education in a big way. And, it's got something to do with early childhood investments ..."
Governments have tried all sorts of programs to achieve Parliament's unanimous promise in 1989 to defeat child poverty by the end of the 20th century, but nothing seems to work very well. In 2002, the National Child Benefit program, a federal-provincial/territorial agreement, kicked in. It is targeted to provide additional money to low-and middle-income families, and it has helped. But, anti-poverty groups say the government has to do more. Campaign 2000 says ending child poverty in Canada is a major undertaking requiring social investments in the range of $18 billion, spread out over the next five years (to 2010). The group says the money would come from current federal surpluses and modest tax recovery.
That's a lot of money, but research has shown that for every dollar that a country invests in giving children a good start in life, the country saves $7 in costs for health and other problems that arise when kids' basic needs are not met.
1. Write, call, e-mail, or meet with your Federal Member of Parliament to ask what progress the government is making in fulfilling its commitments to end child poverty. Similarly, organize a meeting with your local MPP (Massively Parallel Processing or Massively Parallel Processor) A multiprocessing architecture that uses up to thousands of processors. Some might contend that a computer system with 64 or more CPUs is a massively parallel processor. and ask for information on provincial initiatives to address child poverty.
2. The Campaign Against Child Poverty is a national, non-partisan coalition of citizens from various groups concerned about what they see as the unacceptably high levels of child and family poverty in Canada. Research what the organization is doing to help.
Child Poverty in Canada and the Provinces, 2002 Child Poverty $ needed to reach poverty line Couples Lone Rate with female (%) Number children parents Canada 15.6 1,065,000 $9,000 $8,800 Newfoundland and Labrador 21.9 24,000 $6,300 $7,100 Prince Edward Island 11.4 4,000 -- -- Nova Scotia 18.1 36,000 $6,900 $7,300 New Brunswick 14.3 23,000 $7,700 $6,200 Quebec 16.0 245,000 $8,500 $8,200 Ontario 13.6 373,000 $9,700 $9,100 Manitoba 20.8 53,000 $9,900 $10,300 Saskatchewan 18.7 44,000 $5,700 $7,400 Alberta 13.3 98,000 $8,800 $8,900 British Columbia 19.6 167,000 $10,000 $10,400 Source: Statistics Canada's Income Trends in Canada, 2002
Campaign 2000 is a country-wide public education movement to build Canadian awareness and support for the 1989 federal government resolution to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. The organization started in 1991 because it felt the government wasn't making any progress in addressing the issue.
Campaign 2000 puts out an annual national Report Card on Child Poverty in Canada, and its most recent report (2004) maintains that one of the biggest stumbling blocks stum·bling block
An obstacle or impediment.
any obstacle that prevents something from taking place or progressing
Noun 1. continues to be lack of government will.
The group points out that, "Fifteen years ago the House of Commons House of Commons: see Parliament. unanimously resolved to 'seek to achieve the goal of eliminating poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000.' In the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of a growing economy more than one million children, or nearly one child in six, still live in poverty in Canada."
The movement has grown to include more than 85 national, community, and provincial partners, and it's not impressed im·press 1
tr.v. im·pressed, im·press·ing, im·press·es
1. To affect strongly, often favorably: with our current status. It argues that Canada's poverty rate jumped for the first time in 2002, after five straight years of decline, because the government failed to make key investments that would have continued the downward momentum. Here are some highlights from the Campaign's latest assessment on how we're doing:
* Child and family poverty is worsening wors·en
tr. & intr.v. wors·ened, wors·en·ing, wors·ens
To make or become worse.
Noun 1. worsening - process of changing to an inferior state
decline in quality, deterioration, declension with more than one million children in poverty, an increase of 402,000 since 1989. That translates into a child poverty, rate of 15.6% (2002);
* No progress has been made for low-income couples with children who still were an average of $9,000 below the poverty line in 2002. Their 10 percent poverty rate did not change from the previous year;
* Lone-mother families were worse off in 2002 with the child poverty rate for these families rising above 50 percent for the first time in three years. Low-income, lone-mother families would need an average of $8,800 annually to reach the poverty line;
* No progress has been made to narrow the gap between rich and poor families with deep inequality inequality, in mathematics, statement that a mathematical expression is less than or greater than some other expression; an inequality is not as specific as an equation, but it does contain information about the expressions involved. entrenched en·trench also in·trench
v. en·trenched, en·trench·ing, en·trench·es
1. To provide with a trench, especially for the purpose of fortifying or defending.
2. through economic boom. Canada's top 10 percent richest families with children had average incomes that were more than 11 times higher than the bottom 10 percent;
* 2003 was a record year for food bank use--317,242 food bank users were children;
* Child poverty rates for Aboriginal, immigrant and children in visible minority groups are more than double the average for all children; the child poverty rate among children with disabilities is 27.7%.
What needs to be done? The report recommends raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour, raising federal child benefits, stopping provincial clawbacks for social assistance recipients, developing a universally accessible system of quality early learning and child care, expanding affordable housing, and renewing the national social safety net through the Canada Social Transfer The Canada Social Transfer is the Canadian government's transfer payment programme in support of post-secondary education, social assistance and social services, including early childhood development and early learning and childcare. with increased federal funding and improved accountability for provincially delivered social services social services
welfare services provided by local authorities or a state agency for people with particular social needs
social services npl → servicios mpl sociales .
A MIXED BAG
Provision of quality day care is considered a key to beating child poverty. Research has shown that children who have attended day care perform better when they arrive at elementary school elementary school: see school. . This continues as they progress through the grades, and is particularly true for disadvantaged children. In general, children attending day care are more social, more affectionate, more cooperative, and show less negative behaviour than children who do not attend. It also increases their chances of academic success and reduces the risk of dropping out of school before graduation Graduation is the action of receiving or conferring an academic degree or the associated ceremony. The date of event is often called degree day. The event itself is also called commencement, convocation or invocation. .
Providing quality day care benefits society as a whole too. University of Toronto Research at the University of Toronto has been responsible for the world's first electronic heart pacemaker, artificial larynx, single-lung transplant, nerve transplant, artificial pancreas, chemical laser, G-suit, the first practical electron microscope, the first cloning of T-cells, research showed a two-to-one payoff for public expenditures for child care because it allows mothers to work and it gives the children a positive staff that leads to a healthier and more productive future.
But, poor children are not the only vulnerable kids. While they are more at risk, a recent national study of 22,000 children from birth to age 11, found that more than 60 percent of vulnerable children in Canada are spread throughout the middle classes. The study showed that 37 percent of children in the poorest families were vulnerable on one or more skill sets: they had difficult temperaments, limited communication skills, or below-average physical abilities. But, even among the top quarter of earners, almost one in four children had problems.
A University of New Brunswick The University of New Brunswick (UNB) is a Canadian university located in the province of New Brunswick. The university has two main campuses: the principal campus founded in 1785 in Fredericton and a smaller campus which was opened in Saint John in 1964. study came to similar conclusions. A higher percentage of children from families earning less than $25,000 a year had difficulties but two-thirds of them arrived at school as ready to learn as their wealthiest peers. So, low income increases the risk of problems--for every $10,000 a family's income increased, the percentage of vulnerable children declined somewhat--but, there are other factors important to child development. Stability and consistency are among them: a Saskatoon Saskatoon (săskətn`), city (1991 pop. 186,058), S central Sask., Canada, on the South Saskatchewan River. study, for example, found that children were doing very well in a lower-income area where the parents were employed and less likely to move. Parents depended on each other to look out for their kids, and were more connected to their neighbourhoods.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Statistics Canada, the proportion of children under the age of 15 living in families with incomes below the Low, Income Cut-Off cut-off Anesthesiology The point at which elongation of the carbon chain of the 1-alkanol family of anesthetics results in a precipitous drop in the anesthetic potential of these agents–eg, at > 12 carbons in length, there is little anesthetic activity, in Toronto decreased from about 37 percent (1996 Census) to 30 percent (2001 Census): this percentage represents 128,755 children 0-14 years;
The world spends almost one trillion dollars annually on defence; and many countries, including some of the poorest, continue to budget far more military armaments and personnel than for health or education.
In Canada, between 1984 and 1999, the average net wealth of the top 20 percent of couples with children increased by 43 percent. Among the middle 20 percent of couples, it grew by just three percent, and for families at the bottom of the income scale, it tell by more than 51 percent.
Canada and Finland both have Indigenous people and the same rate of single-parent households, yet the child poverty rate in Finland is one-third of Canada's. While Finland has only a slightly lower percentage of families on social benefits, it has three times Canada's social expenditure.
Campaign Against Child Poverty--http://www. childpoverty.com
Free the Children--http://www.freethechildren.org/ Campaign 2000 (What you can do)--http://www.campaign2000.ca/act/