EDMONTON – One in six Alberta children is living in poverty, according to a new report released Tuesday.
As of 2016, there are 171,860 children ages 0-17 under the low-income threshold in our province, up from 162,200 in 2014.
Since 2006, there has been a 23.4 per cent growth in the number of children in Alberta living in poverty, according to the report released jointly by the Edmonton Social Planning Council, Public Interest Alberta, and the Alberta College of Social Workers.
“Alberta is the only province in the country without a poverty reduction strategy,” said Joel French, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “Legislating a plan to eliminate poverty with targets and other accountability measures would show we are serious about addressing the problem.
“Our federal government now has one, as do Alberta’s major municipalities, so immediate provincial government action on this is necessary,” he adds.
Sandra Ngo with the Edmonton Social Planning Council says while the province has made laudable changes to minimum wages and income supports, more work remains.
Lynn L. King of the Alberta College of Social Workers says programs and resources are needed to address the root causes of poverty.
“We strongly urge the government to collaborate with communities and stakeholders to develop and implement a provincial poverty reduction strategy that would strengthen real action to combat poverty in Alberta,” Kings says.
(With file from media release)
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