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23% of Children in the Cariboo Living in Poverty: 2017 BC Child Poverty Report Card

Child poverty rates in the Cariboo are higher than both the provincial and national rates.

First Call BC unveiled the 2017 Child Poverty Report Card on Tuesday which reports that 23% of children in the Cariboo Regional District are living in poverty.

“So in Quesnel, there were 960 children living in poverty and that’s a poverty rate of 21%. Williams Lake had 810 children living in poverty and that’s also 21%,” says Scott Graham, associate director of the Social Development Research Council of BC.

The rates according to Graham show no real change from rates last year because there have been no public policy changes regarding poverty.

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“The province recently announced a small increase to income assistance rates, but the amount that’s provided is not adequate to lift a family out of poverty. So though there’s been some investment the level of investment has not been adequate to change the poverty rates,” says Graham adding that that’s just one factor. He says he is optimistic however about the province launching the initiative to form a  Poverty Reduction Strategy

The regional districts in B.C with the lowest child poverty rates which were below the national rate of 17% according to the report were the East Kootenay Regional District, the Capital, and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional Districts.

Child poverty was most severe in the coastal regional districts, with almost one in two children, 46% in the Central Coast Regional District living in poverty.

You can view the full report here.

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