Child poverty numbers show B.C. Liberals are failing families

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VICTORIA— Despite new statistics showing that B.C. has had the worst child poverty rate in Canada for the past decade, the B.C. Liberals refuse to bring in a poverty reduction plan, say the New Democrats.

“Premier Christy Clark promised to share the economic benefits of the province with everyone and her speech from the throne promised to secure a bright future for B.C.’s children, yet we see that for the tenth year in a row, B.C. is at the bottom of the pack when it comes to tackling child poverty,” said New Democrat children and families critic Carole James.

“Making matters worse, this government has no plan to address this serious issue which has the potential to follow these children for the rest of their lives.”

The Statistics Canada numbers show that B.C. is tied with Manitoba for worst child poverty in the country. British Columbia has had the worst rates of child poverty in the country for 9 out of the last 10 years.

“This government has had 12 years to act, and the result is an increase of 6000 children living in poverty in just one year,” said James. “Yet rather than tackling this serious issue, the Liberal government is fixated on going through yet another ‘core review’ of government. The review we need is a review of how the government could have failed these children and their families for the last decade.”

James also noted that children don’t live alone in poverty, they live with their families. That’s what makes the Liberal plan to cut critical services while also increasing medicare premiums, hiking hydro rates, and jacking up user fees so disastrous for children in the province.

“It’s time for the B.C. Liberal government to get serious about tackling child poverty,” said James. “Every year we wait is a year lost forever for a child.”

The B.C. Liberal government campaigned on dubious promises of eliminating debt, balancing the budget, and retaining critical services. B.C.’s New Democrats will hold the government to account for these promises, and fight to protect the services that British Columbians depend on.