Wednesday, 19 June 2019

A new CCPA report takes a very close look at the sad picture of child poverty in Halifax. It contains information you likely didn’t know about your community or neighborhood. For instance, Spryfield has a child poverty rate of 40%, and in rural Nova Scotia North Preston (40%), East Preston (38.9), and Sheet Harbour (26.1%) lead the pack. Meanwhile, Fall RIver has a child poverty rate of a mere 3.9%.

Recent changes to the Child and Family Service Act have made the fight against child poverty even more difficult, writes Alec Stratford, executive director of the NS College of Social Workers. Shortened judicial timelines, the expansion of the definition of neglect and the overall lack of resources have amounted to greater penalization of families struggling to afford the cost of housing, food, childcare, clothing and transportation.

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In Nova Scotia over one in five children under the age of 18 live in poverty. For children under the age of six it’s more like one in three. Dr. Lesley Frank and Dr. Christine Saulnier, authors of this year’s Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Nova Scotia reflect on some of the reports disturbing findings, and offer their thoughts on what should be done.

On October 1st Nova Scotia became the province with the lowest minimum wage in Canada. That milestone event caused Christine Saulnier of the Nova Scotia office of the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives (CCPA) to pull out the calculator and draw some shocking conclusions. Read the Coles version here, or better yet, check out Christine’s entire article on the CCPA website.

The provincial government’s recent announcement of a new free pre-primary program for children turning four is good news for parents, write Christine Saulnier and Tammy Findlay. But its implementation seems rushed and is occurring without meaningful consultation, and that is dangerous. We need a funded transition plan to a full system for all children in Nova Scotia.