Child Poverty in Canada

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The Facts Amidst incredible wealth, more than 3.5 million Canadian live in poverty. In fact, poverty is increasing for youth, workers, young families and immigrants and people of colour in this country. Poverty in Aboriginal groups remains appallingly high, both on and off reserve. While Canada officially ranks an impressive 4th on the UN Human Development Index, the statistics measuring poverty in Canada's Aboriginal communities would place us 78th—a ranking currently held by Peru. The inherited poverty facing our youth is especially emergent. On average, one in every ten children in Canada struggles to have their basic needs met. In First Nations and Inuit communities, one in every four children grows up in poverty. More than twenty years after the House of Commons passed a resolution to eliminate poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000, our government has failed to take any meaningful action in this direction. In Canada right now: One in ten children is poor. Canada's child poverty rate of 15 percent is three times as high as the rates of Sweden, Norway or Finland. Every month, 770,000 people in Canada use food banks. Forty percent of those relying on food banks are children. These statistics point to a betrayal of Canada's children. REASON To use the most basic terms, the cause of poverty in a developed country like Canada is a lack of sufficient income and resources to live a full life. (1) However, behind this simple definition lies a more difficult question: Why do some individuals and families not have the resources necessary to break out of poverty? Responses to this question vary widely, reflecting different ideologies and perspectives. Some people view poverty as the outcome of personal decisions or choices, such as dropping out of school, having a child at an early age, using and becoming addicted to drugs and/or alcohol,

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