2002 - Campaign 2000 archived news releases by toi79323

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									2002 – Campaign 2000 archived news releases
Campagne 2000 - Toronto, 22 Nov 02


Pour la première fois depuis 1989, un important indicateur de pauvreté infantile à
la baisse

Pour la première fois en dix ans, le nombre d’enfants vivant dans une famille à faible revenu
a chuté. Selon le rapport que vient de rendre public Campagne 2000, ce nombre passe de
un sur cinq à un sur six. Ce résultat survient après quatre années consécutives de baisse du
taux de pauvreté infantile. Néanmoins, ce chiffre est supérieur à ce qu’il était en1989, alors
qu’un enfant sur sept était pauvre et que la Chambre des communes avait adopté, à
l’unanimité, une résolution pour éliminer la pauvreté des enfants au Canada.

Quoique la tendance générale soit encourageante, la pauvreté maintient son joug sur plus
de 1,1 million d’enfants. 16,5 % des enfants vivent dans la pauvreté au Canada, un
pourcentage substantiellement plus élevé que le 14, 4% qui avait incité le Parlement
canadien à agir en 1989. Depuis, la situation des familles monoparentales a stagné tandis
que celle des familles biparentales s’est aggravée.

Selon le rapport, la croissance économique vigoureuse expliquerait la réduction de la
pauvreté, mais ses auteurs affirment que l’économie ne pourra faire plus. « Au cours de dix
ans de veille, nous avons vu les taux de pauvreté infantile fluctuer au rythme des cycles
économiques. Au mieux, la situation économique peut ramener les taux de pauvreté aux
alentours de 15 %, mais pour baisser davantage ce pourcentage, il faudra que le
gouvernement intervienne », insiste Laurel Rothman, coordonnatrice nationale de
Campagne 2000, un organisme réunissant plus de 85 organisations qui font le suivi des
promesses gouvernementales et travaillent à éradiquer la pauvreté des enfants et des
familles.

Le discours du Trône de cette année laisse entrevoir que le gouvernement fédéral serait prêt
à satisfaire aux demandes des groupes de défense des enfants. Campaign Against Child
Poverty, un partenaire de Campagne 2000, a retenu une pleine page de publicité, à paraître
le 25 novembre prochain, dans le Toronto Star, pour illustrer l’engagement du
gouvernement à « briser le cycle de pauvreté » en mettant de l’avant des mesures de
bonification de la sécurité du revenu, en créant plus de services de garde à l’enfance de
qualité et plus de logement social et en venant en aide aux familles qui ont des enfants
atteints limitations fonctionnelles.

« Le véritable test de l’engagement du gouvernement sera le prochain budget fédéral alors
que ses promesses devront s’actualiser dans des priorités de dépenses », déclare June
Callwood, auteure et militante sociale. « Aucune famille n’est à l’abri de la pauvreté. Le
Canada a besoin de programmes pour soutenir ses familles, en périodes de croissance
comme en périodes difficiles ».

Le rapport de Campagne 2000 : La pauvreté en période de prospérité – bâtir un Canada
pour tous les enfants sera rendu public le 25 novembre à Halifax, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina
et Vancouver. Pour plus de précisions, veuillez visiter notre site Web www.campaign2000.ca
ou celui de CACP www.childpoverty.com, le lundi 25 novembre.
Pour de plus amples renseignements, communiquez avec :
Toronto : Laurel Rothman (416) 595-9230, poste 228, cell. (416)575-9230; June Callwood
(416)231-1923
Vancouver : Michael Goldbert, Social Planning and Research Council of BC (604)718-7738
Winnipeg : Mike Owen, président du comité de direction de Campagne 2000 Manitoba (204)
982-4947; Sid Frankel (204)474-9706, président du Social Planning Council de Winnipeg
Regina : Fiona Dougals, Social Policy Research Unit, Université de Regina (306)585-4036
Halifax : Pauline Raven, YWCA de Halifax (902)423-6162
En français : Elaine Teofilovici, YWCA du Canada (416)962-8881, poste 241

Contact: Laurel Rothman - laurelro@fsatoronto.com - tel: (416) 595-9230, poste 228, cell. (416)575-9230

Related site: La pauvreté en période de prospérité - bâtir un Canada pour tous les enfants
Campaign 2000 - Toronto, 21 Nov 02


First time since 1989, key child poverty stat falls

For the first time in a decade the number of children living in low-income families has
dropped from one in five, to one in six, says a new report released by Campaign 2000. The
change follows four consecutive years of falling child poverty rates. But that figure is still
higher than in 1989, when one in seven children were poor, prompting the House of
Commons to pass a unanimous resolution to eliminate child poverty.

While the overall trend is encouraging, poverty retains its stubborn hold on over 1.1-million
children. 16.5% of Canadian children are living in poverty, substantially higher than the
14.4% figure that prompted Parliament to act in 1989. In the intervening years,
circumstances for lone parents have stagnated while the conditions of two parent families
have actually deteriorated.

The report credits strong economic growth for the decline, but warns the economy has
accomplished all it can. “In the 10 years that we have been tracking, we have seen child
poverty rates fluctuate with economic cycles. The best the economy can do is bring the
numbers down to about 15%; to go any lower, government needs to act," says Laurel
Rothman, national coordinator of Campaign 2000, a national network of over 85
organizations monitoring government's promise and working on ending child and family
poverty.

This year's Throne Speech indicates the government may be ready to respond to the long
time demands of children’s advocates. Campaign 2000's partner, the Campaign Against
Child Poverty, is placing a full-page ad in the Toronto Star on November 25th highlighting
the government's commitment to "break the cycle of poverty" through improved income
supports, more quality child care, affordable housing and support to families caring for
children with disabilities.

"The real test of the government's commitment will be in the next budget when promises
need to be translated into spending priorities" says writer and social activist June Callwood.
"No family is immune to poverty. Canada needs programs to support its families through
good times and bad."

The Campaign 2000 report: "Poverty Amidst Prosperity - Building a Canada for All Children",
will be released on November 25 in Halifax, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina and Vancouver.

For further details, please check out our website at www.campaign2000.ca/rc/ on Monday,
Nov. 25th.
For information about the Toronto Star ad see the CACP website at www.childpoverty.com

Contact: Laurel Rothman, national coordinator of Campaign 2000 - laurelro@fsatoronto.com - tel: 416-595-9230 ex
228- fax:416-595-0242


Related site: Poverty amidst prosperity – building a Canada for all children: 2002 Report Card
Campaign2000 - 23 Oct 02


Study gives Canada 'F' on child care

An average family needs 14% of its income to pay for regulated child care in Newfoundland.
The same family would pay 20% in British Columbia. Conversely a child care teacher who
earns a scant $6.76 an hour in Newfoundland fares somewhat better at $12 in B.C. Rather
than levelling differences, provincial subsidy systems exacerbate the disparity, instead of
helping the families they are designed to support. The study found that a lone mother with
a typical $10,000 annual income could have her child care fees entirely covered in Ontario
but would pay almost $3500 in user fees in Saskatchewan.

The report is the first of two tracking the impact of government policy and spending on
early childhood education and care services. Under the September 2000 Early Childhood
Development Agreement Ottawa transfers funds to the provinces to improve services for
children under six. “Rather than fulfilling its promise of more and better child care, the lack
of accountability mechanisms attached to federal funding is adding to service fragmentation
and competition”, charged Sue Delanoy of Saskatoon Communities for Children.

The only Canada-wide indicator showing improvement is an increase in the per capita
number of spaces but this is due more to demographics than public policy. “The declining
population of children under six and the efforts of provinces like Quebec are largely negated
by the cost cutting regimes in major provinces like British Columbia and Ontario,” said
Susan Harney of the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C.

Contact: Kerry McCuaig - - tel: 647-295-2808

Related site: ECEC Community Indicators Project reports
Campaign2000 - Toronto, 23 Oct 02


Le Canada n’obtient pas la note de passage en matière de services de garde à
l’enfance démontre une nouvelle étude

Campagne 2000 a commandé ce rapport qui examine les services de garde à l’enfance dans
quatre provinces : Colombie-Britannique, Saskatchewan, Ontario et Terre-Neuve. Les
chercheurs ont trouvé que les usagers des services de garde ainsi que les personnes qui y
travaillent sont mal servis et que leur traitement varie dramatiquement en fonction de la
province qu’ils habitent.

Une famille moyenne doit affecter 14 % de son revenu pour se payer un service de garde
régi à Terre-Neuve. Cette famille devrait débourser 20 % de son revenu si elle vivait en C.-
B. Par ailleurs, une éducatrice en garderie qui gagne un maigre 6,76 $ de l’heure à Terre-
Neuve se débrouille relativement mieux avec 12 $ de l’heure en C.-B. Au lieu d’atténuer les
différences et d’aider les familles qu’ils sont censés soutenir, les systèmes de subventions
des provinces exacerbent les disparités. Selon l’étude, en Ontario, les frais de garde d’une
mère monoparentale dont le revenu annuel typique est de 10 000 $ sont complètement
couverts par les subventions versées dans cette province alors qu’en Saskatchewan, elle
doit débourser, de sa poche, près de 3 500 $.

Ce rapport est le premier de deux rapports à étudier l’impact des politiques et des dépenses
gouvernementales en matière de services éducatifs et de garde à l’enfance. Dans le cadre
de l’Initiative pour le développement de la petite enfance, lancée en septembre 2000,
Ottawa transfert des fonds aux provinces pour améliorer les services offerts aux enfants de
moins de six ans. « L’absence de mécanismes pour rendre compte de l’utilisation des fonds
fédéraux, plutôt que de contribuer à développer plus de services de garde et à en améliorer
la qualité, ne fait qu’aggraver la fragmentation et la compétition entre les divers services »,
déplore Sue Delanoy, Saskatoon Communities for Children.

Le seul indicateur à l’échelle du Canada à indiquer une amélioration est celui portant sur le
nombre de places en services de garde per capita, mais cette amélioration est le résultat de la
démographie bien plus que de politiques publiques. « Les effets du déclin de la population
d’enfants de moins de six ans et les efforts des provinces comme le Québec sont rendus nuls par
les mesures de compression des coûts mises de l’avant dans les provinces importantes comme la
Colombie-Britannique et l’Ontario », a déclaré Susan Harney, Coalition of Child Care Advocates
of B.C.

Contact: Kerry McCuaig - - tel: (647) 295-2808

Related site: Indicateurs communautaires - Services éducatifs et de garde à l'enfance
Campaign 2000 - Toronto, 1 Oct 02


Back Up Child Poverty Promises with Real Money, PM Urged

The real test of the government's commitment to fight child poverty will be in the
investment priorities of the next budget, said child poverty advocates following the Speech
from the Throne. They added that the promising words included in the Speech and the
Prime Minister's response where he pledged "to be ready in the next budget to put in place
a long term investment plan" must be followed by real money and a forward-thinking multi-
year strategy for implementation.

"We're pleased that the Speech From the Throne and the Prime Minister's response place
child and family poverty issues front and centre and talk about a long-term investment plan.
We will be looking for a bold multi-year strategy with substantial dollars in the next budget
that backs up the Throne Speech commitments," said Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator
of Campaign 2000, an umbrella group of organizations dedicated to the elimination of child
and family poverty in Canada.

Monday's Throne Speech set out a long-term investment plan which promised significant
increases to the National Child Benefit for poor families. It also promises increased access to
early learning opportunities and to quality child care, additional measures to assist
Aboriginal children, as well as extended investments in affordable housing where the need is
greatest. It further plans to help families who have children with disabilities.

In today's response to the Speech, the Prime Minister acknowledged that "too many
children still live in poverty" and stated that "we must put Canada's families and children
first". The Prime Minister promised long term funding for increases to the National Child
Benefit in the next budget as well as investments in affordable housing.

"Substantially increasing child benefits is definitely on the right track - if done right child
benefits will reduce child poverty. To begin to make a real difference for families we need to
see the Canada Child Tax Benefit rise to a maximum of $4,200 for low, modest, and middle-
income families. We also must ensure that provinces stop picking the pockets of families on
social assistance who have seen little benefit from this program," said Michael Goldberg,
Social Planning & Research Council of B.C.

In reaction to the announcements, children's advocates were pleased to see the government
acknowledge the centrality of early childhood education and care both as an anti-poverty
measure as well as key to a skills and learning agenda. However, advocates expressed
concern with a general trend away from universality and towards targeting social programs
to the poorest.

Advocates were also concerned that the Prime Minister did not provide more details on the
government's plans for early childhood education and care in his reply to the Throne Speech
and stressed the importance of investing in universal, high-quality child care that can meet
the needs of families in communities across Canada.

"It is positive that in announcing its plans the federal government recognizes that families
on social assistance have been falling behind. We must also remember that most low
income children live in families where at least one parent is working yet they still need
financial help as well as child care and affordable housing. The federal government, in
addition to helping parents on welfare, must also provide income supports and services to
assist working parents with low, modest and middle incomes," said Sid Frankel, President of
the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg.

"Affordable, quality early childhood education is key to effectively leading women and their
children away from poverty. We will be looking for Ottawa to be more prescriptive with the
child development funding it provides the provinces and require spending on high quality
child care as part of an ambitious expansion across the country ," said Elaine Teofilovici,
Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA of/du Canada.

"Poverty has claimed too many casualties under the Liberals' watch. The one in five children
living in poverty are a testament to the lack of political will to invest in the programs that
will make a real difference for families. It's time to turn the situation around. We want to
see the Prime Minister act straight from the heart and with firm determination - we cannot
waiver on our commitment to substantial investments in children," said June Callwood, Co-
Chair of Campaign Against Child Poverty.

Campaign 2000 proposes a comprehensive approach to family policy which includes an
enhanced child benefit of a maximum of $4,200 for all low, modest, and middle- income
families; a universal system of quality, affordable early childhood education and care
services which meets the needs of modern families in communities across Canada; a stable,
affordable housing strategy to assist low and modest income families; as well as a labour
market strategy which ensures that parents have access to family friendly jobs with good
wages to support their families.

For more information contact:

- Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator of Campaign 2000 - 416-575-9230
(or, to set up interviews, Pedro Barata, 416-595-9230 ext. 241)
- June Callwood, Co-Chair, Campaign Against Child Poverty - 416-231-1923
- Sid Frankel, Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, President - 204-943-2561
- Michael Goldberg, Social Planning & Research Council of BC - 604-718-7738
- French Spokesperson: Elaine Teofilovici, Executive Director of YWCA -
416-962-8881

Contact: Pedro Barata, Campaign 2000 - PedroBa@FSATORONTO.com - tel: 416-595-9230, ext. 241- fax:416-595-
0242


Related site: Campaign 2000 brief to the standing committee on finance pre-budget consultation
- 1 Oct 02


On demande au Premier ministre de joindre des fonds réels aux promesses

Les priorités d'investissement du prochain budget seront le véritable test de l'engagement
du gouvernement à lutter contre la pauvreté des enfants, a affirmé un militant de la lutte
contre la pauvreté des enfants, à la suite du discours du Trône. Il faut que les promesses du
discours et la réponse du Premier ministre selon laquelle qu'il faut « être prêts lors du
prochain budget à mettre en place un plan d'investissement à long terme » soient suivies de
fonds réels et d'une stratégie pluriannuelle progressiste de mise en oeuvre.


« Nous sommes heureux que la pauvreté des enfants et des familles soit au coeur du
discours du Trône et de la réponse du Premier ministre, qui mentionnent aussi un plan
d'investissement à long terme. Nous nous attendons à ce que le prochain budget propose
une stratégie pluriannuelle audacieuse comportant des fonds importants pour faire suite aux
promesses du discours du Trône », a affirmé Laurel Rothman, coordonnateur national de
Campagne 2000, coalition engagée à éliminer la pauvreté des enfants et des familles au
Canada.


Le discours du Trône de lundi expose un plan d'investissement à long terme et promet une
augmentation considérable de la Prestation nationale pour enfants destinée aux familles
pauvres. Il promet aussi d'accroître l'accès des jeunes enfants aux possibilités
d'apprentissage et à des soins de qualité, des mesures additionnelles pour venir en aide aux
enfants autochtones ainsi que des investissements accrus dans des logements à prix
abordables là où le besoin est le plus grand. Il prévoit en outre de venir en aide aux familles
qui ont des enfants handicapés.


Aujourd'hui, dans sa réponse au discours du Trône, le Premier ministre reconnaît que « trop
d'enfants continuent de vivre dans la pauvreté » et affirme que « nous devons faire passer
les familles et les enfants du Canada avant tout ». Le Premier ministre a aussi promis un
financement à long terme pour accroître la Prestation nationale pour enfants dans le
prochain budget ainsi que des investissements dans les logements abordables.


« Une augmentation importante de la prestation pour enfants est sûrement un pas dans la
bonne direction et contribuera à réduire la pauvreté des enfants si la mise en oeuvre est
efficace. Pour qu'elle fasse toute la différence pour les familles, la prestation fiscale pour
enfants doit être accrue pour atteindre un maximum de 4 200 $ dans le cas des familles à
faibles, modestes et moyens revenus. Il faut aussi que les provinces cessent de puiser dans
les poches des familles prestataires d'aide sociale, qui ont très peu bénéficié de ce
programme », affirme Michael Goldberg, du Conseil de planification sociale et de recherche
de la olombie-Britannique.


Les militants et les militantes des droits des enfants ont été heureux d'apprendre que le
gouvernement reconnaît la place centrale que doivent occuper les soins et l'éducation des
jeunes enfants dans la lutte contre la pauvreté et en tant que clé du programme
d'acquisition de compétences et d'apprentissage. Ils ont toutefois manifesté leurs
inquiétudes face à la
tendance générale à s'éloigner de l'universalité en matière de programmes sociaux en vue
de cibler les plus pauvres. Les militants et les militantes s'inquiètent aussi du fait que le
Premier
ministre n'ait pas fourni plus de détails sur les plans du gouvernement en matière
d'éducation et de soins aux jeunes enfants dans sa réponse au discours du Trône. Ils ont
souligné l'importance d'investir dans une aide à l'enfance universelle et de qualité qui
réponde aux besoins des familles des communautés de l'ensemble du Canada.


« Il est bien que le gouvernement fédéral reconnaisse que les familles prestataires d'aide
sociale ont perdu du terrain. Il faut aussi se rappeler que la plupart des enfants de milieux à
faible revenu vivent dans une famille où au moins un parent travaille, mais qui a néanmoins
besoin d'aide financière, de services de garde et d'un logement à prix abordable. Le
gouvernement fédéral, en plus d'aider les parents qui reçoivent de l'aide sociale, doit
accorder un soutien du revenu et des services aux parents à revenus faibles, modestes ou
moyens qui travaillent », a souligné Sid Frankel, président du Conseil de planification sociale
de Winnipeg.


« L'éducation et des soins abordables et de qualité pour les jeunes enfants sont le tremplin
qui permet aux femmes et à leurs enfants de se tirer de la pauvreté. Nous verrons à ce que
Ottawa soit plus précis concernant les fonds de développement de l'enfant accordés aux
provinces et exige qu'ils servent à des services de qualité dans le cadre d'un ambitieux
projet s'étendant à l'ensemble du pays », a affirmé Elaine Teofilovici, directrice exécutive du
YWCA.


« La pauvreté à fait trop de victimes sous le leadership libéral. Le taux d'un enfant sur cinq
vivant dans la pauvreté témoigne du manque de volonté politique à investir dans des
programmes qui feront toute la différence pour les familles. Il est temps de changer les
choses. Les promesses du Premier ministre doivent venir du coeur et faire preuve d'une
ferme détermination. On ne peut hésiter face à l'engagement d'investir de façon importante
dans les enfants », a affirmé June Callwood, vice-présidente de l'organisme Campaign
Against Child Poverty.


Campagne 2000 propose une orientation globale en matière de politique familiale, qui
comprend un régime amélioré de prestations pour enfants d'un maximum de 4 200 $ pour
les familles à faibles, modestes et moyens revenus; un système universel d'éducation et de
soins de qualité à prix abordable pour les jeunes enfants qui réponde aux besoins des
familles modernes des communautés de l'ensemble du Canada; une stratégie de logements
stables et
abordables pour venir en aide aux familles à revenus faibles ou modestes; et une stratégie
du marché du travail telle que les parents aient accès à des emplois respectueux de la
famille et procurant de bons salaires pour subvenir aux besoins de leurs familles.


Renseignements :
Laurel Rothman, coordonnateur national de Campagne 2000, 416-575-9230
(Pour demander une interview : Pedro Barata, 416-595-9230, poste 241)
June Callwood, vice-présidente, Campaign Against Child Poverty, 416-231-1923
Sid Frankel, président, Conseil de planification sociale, Winnipeg, 204-943-2561
Michael Goldberg, Conseil de planification sociale et de recherche, C.-B.,
604-718-7738
Porte-parole francophone : Elaine Teofilovici, directrice exécutive, YWCA,
416-962-8881

Contact: Pedro Barata - PedroBa@FSATORONTO.com - tel: 416-595-9230, poste 241
Campaign 2000 - Toronto, Ontario, 9 Sep 02


PUTTING PROMISES INTO ACTION - Brief to the Standing Committee on Finance
Pre-Budget Consultation

The next budget provides a key opportunity to build on recent initiatives for vulnerable
children have been cautious, modest in scope and not sufficient to reduce child and family
poverty. These initiatives, including the National Child Benefit, Aboriginal Headstart, the
extension of parental leave benefits and the Early Childhood Development Agreement have
begun to make an important contribution to the mix of income assistance and community
services. Campaign 2000 recognizes the fiscal pressures upon governments to limit new
expenditures. At the same time, we want to highlight the potential social deficit of not
investing in our children.

Now is not the time to maintain the status quo. We believe it is the time to think long-term
and invest strategically. Canada's children and their families need a holistic, sustained
approach to improve the life chances for all children, to prevent families from falling into
poverty and to help low income families pull themselves out of poverty.

FOR A COPY OF OUR COMPLETE SUBMISSION TO THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE,
HOUSE OF COMMONS, GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, PLEASE GO TO THE RESOURCES
SECTION OF OUR WEBSITE (use the link below) OR CALL US FOR A HARD COPY.

Contact: Liyu Guo, Campaign 2000 and Family Service Association of Toronto - liyugu@fsatoronto.com - tel: 416-595-
9230, ext. 244


Related site: Brief to the Standing Committee on Finance Pre-Budget Consultation, September 2002
Campaign 2000 - Toronto, 9 Aug 02


Maternity Leave Proposal Excludes Poor Families - Advocates Call for
Comprehensive Approach to Family Policy

Rumours of a federal proposal to double maternity benefits to two years were criticized for
failing to take into account the needs of poor children and families. Child advocates called
for a more comprehensive approach to addressing child and family poverty that improves
early childhood education and care programs, raises child benefits and expandes affordable
housing.

Included are two pieces which offer a concise analysis of the maternity benefits proposal,
both in terms of its shortcomings as well as what could be done to improve the situation of
children and families. The first is authored by Martha Friendly of the Childcare Resource and
Research Unit, and the next is by Sheila Regehr, Director of the National Council of Welfare.
___________________________________________________

Letter to the Editor of the National Post
By Martha Friendly , University of Toronto

It’s marvelous that after what feels like 40 years of wandering in the desert, social policies
for maternity leave, child care and skills and learning are under discussion. It will be
unfortunate, though, if the government’s fall agenda continues to approach social policy in a
piecemeal way.

To illustrate this - while the extension of maternity/parental benefits to a year was popular
with almost everyone but business, the program’s rules (EI) and the low wage replacement
level (55% up to a ceiling of $413/wk) mean that the program excludes many new parents.
This seems especially so for lower income parents who can’t afford to live on a partial wage
for long and those in marginal jobs who don’t qualify. This may help explain the low take-up.
Doubling the benefit period without fixing up the program might not be as effective as it
seems on first glance.

A second illustration: following the leave, what options do new parents have for their
children? It was hopeful to read in the Post that something like the 1993 child care election
commitment is under consideration (although less so to read in the second story that it
might be “later”). In the decade since that promise failed to materialize, many countries
have come to treat maternity leaves AND high quality, developmental child care as two
parts of coherent policy. In Canada, neglect of social policy and reduced social spending
means that we have fallen far behind nations that have introduced the child care/early
childhood education programs that enhance social inclusion, alleviate child poverty and aid
life-long learning.

Finally, research shows that high quality accessible developmental child care is fundamental
to skills and learning. For children -whose development and life chances are enhanced by
high quality child care - and for women (parents)- whose participation often depends on
access to child care - universal early childhood programs are essential to a life-cycle
approach to skills and learning.
___________________________________________________

Letter to the Editor of the Toronto Star
By Sheila Regehr, Director, National Council of Welfare

Re Leaders split on longer maternity leave and the will to fight poverty

While premiers had mixed reactions to longer maternity benefits, they all seem to agree
that it is not a priority. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater so quickly.
Just a day or two before the maternity story came out, headlines across the country
highlighted how Canada’s most chronic poverty is among its youngest children. There is a
connection. Over 40% of newborns aren’t covered by maternity benefits. Many low-income
mothers who do qualify get very little. Those who gain most are parents who have good
incomes and secure full-time jobs. Some get top-ups that bring them close to a full salary
replacement.

For a new mother with no maternity benefit the impact of additional responsibilities, greater
financial need, round-the clock time-demands, inability to earn income, loss of autonomy
and the work of physical recovery from childbirth can put an unbearable strain on her and
her family. This is not a recipe for healthy family formation, good child outcomes or labour
force productivity. It could for many be the first step towards poverty, reliance on social
assistance and family disintegration.

So rather than starting with longer benefits, we should think wider, higher, more flexible
and outside the box. We could widen eligibility so that more parents can access benefits.
There could be higher benefits for the first few months or more flexibility so that parents
could use a year’s entitlement in 6 or 8 months if it better suits their needs. A father who
qualifies could transfer his entitlements to his wife who does not. And we could provide
alternatives outside Employment Insurance for those who do not qualify so that we do not
drive a further wedge between children born into well-off families and children born into less
fortunate circumstances.

We need to fix the program, fill in glaring gaps and build in maternity benefits as part of a
more inclusive, integrated family policy that goes hand-in-hand with child care and other
supports for families with children.

We need to invest wisely now for the sake of our future.

Contact: Pedro Barata - pedroba@fsatoronto.com - tel: 416 595-9230- fax:416-595-0242
Campaign 2000 - Toronto, 30 Jul 02
Addressing Child Poverty Key to Premiers’ Health Agenda
Toronto - Campaign 2000 is sending an urgent reminder to the Premiers and Territorial
Leaders that the well-being of children and the health of Canadians need to be high on the
agenda at their annual meeting in Halifax. The release of another report showing that more
than 1.3 million children in Canada live in poverty underlines the need to address poverty as
a major factor that compromises the health and well-being of Canada’s children.

“Canadians know that there is a fundamental link between a healthy start in life and the
long-term impact on the well-being of children. There is also ample research that shows
that low income children are more likely to encounter more hurdles to healthy development
and to experience a host of negative situations that affect their health and well being,” said
Pedro Barata, Campaign 2000’s Ontario Coordinator. “Children’s health and well being and
the future of our health care system depend on whether the premiers will agree to play a
key role in shaping and funding successful programs for families and investing in prevention
and health promotion”, Barata added.

Faced with the stark reality that almost 1 in 5 children in Canada still lives in poverty, the
88-member strong coalition is concerned that the prevention of poverty, as a major
determinant of health, will not be given prominence. Campaign 2000 points to the National
Children’s Agenda as a positive first step in intergovernmental collaboration for children and
calls for additional investments in income security measures, community services including
early childhood education and care services, affordable housing and labour market
initiatives. To date, the National Children’s Agenda has only had a limited impact in meeting
the needs of families and children.

“A national commitment to the health and well-being of children and families requires a shift
in public policy priorities. The recent focus on tax cuts has not been successful in
substantially reducing child and family poverty. Instead, it has contributed to the severe
reduction of social and economic supports to families over the past decade. All senior levels
of government must demonstrate their willingness to collaborate and significantly increase
investments in a comprehensive plan for children that will promote a healthy, inclusive
society,” said Christine Ogaranko, Acting Executive Director of the Social Planning Council of
Winnipeg.

“The Premiers have to show leadership on children’s issues. Let’s start by reducing our
levels of child poverty by 50% over the next five years by raising the annual child benefits
for all low, modest and middle-income families from the current $2,400 to $4,200 per child.
Let’s also introduce new investments for quality Early Childhood Education and Care
services and housing and let’s make sure that parents have access to family friendly jobs
with good wages to support their families,” said Greg deGroot-Maggetti, Citizens for Public
Justice.

- 30 -
Campaign 2000 is a diverse coalition of over 85 national, provincial and community
organizations dedicated to eliminating child and family poverty.
For more information contact:
Pedro Barata, Campaign 2000, 416-595-9230 ext. 241, cel 416-432-4096
Christine Ogaranko, Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, 204-943-2561
Greg deGroot-Maggetti, Citizens for Public Justice, 416-979-2443 ext. 22

Contact: Pedro Barata - pedroba@fsatoronto.com - tel: 416 595-9230- fax:416-595-0242

Campaign 2000 - Toronto, Ontario, 17 Jul 02


End Child/Family Poverty: Meeting with Your MP National Campaign

In our report "Putting Promises into Action", we recently documented and reported the
growing plight of children and families in Canada for the UN Special Session on Children. We
are now pressing for the policies recommended in this report to be implemented.

Our message to the Government is that despite some steps, child and family poverty
continues to be a major problem across Canada. Campaign 2000 believes that a
comprehensive Child Benefit is the key to any fair and equitable strategy to eliminate child
poverty and promote social inclusion. Affordable Early Childhood Education and Care and
affordable housing are key supporting components to this initiative.

There have been a number of strong indications that the government is ready to take action
on child and family issues in the upcoming budget. The government can no longer ignore its
own promises.

The government can no longer ignore its own policy makers. For instance:

"The Task Force on Urban Issues" recommends to redistribute income to low, modest and
middle income families, establish a national housing program and reaffirm the commitment
to end child poverty as important measures in restoring urban health.

"The Knowledge Matters Report" warns that: "The path of lifelong learning begins in early
childhood. Each step in the learning process builds on previous success - from the preschool
years to elementary and secondary school, to post-secondary education, to adult learning.
Poor outcomes in childhood can undermine subsequent education and skills development
and limit future employment success and quality of life.";

In Standard of Living or Quality of Life: Does One Come First? John Godfrey, MP suggests
that "Improving quality of life means improving the social, economic and environmental
conditions that make life worthwhile for citizens: it is literally what countries are for";
[http://www.johngodfrey.on.ca/pages/articlesfs.htm]

Take Part in our Summer Awareness Campaign

Join Campaign 2000's national all party summer action to ensure that your MP knows that
the quality of life of children and families is important to you. You can help ensure that
steps are taken to eliminate child poverty by:

--Calling and arranging a meeting to discuss child and family poverty issues included in our
Summer Action Kit. Then fill out the evaluation form and return it to us. --Emailing us so we
can put you in touch with other groups in your community who are also participating in the
Summer Action. --Downloading a sample letter that you can send to your MP.

Only with the help of our members, partners and concerned public citizens can we ensure
that children and families are made a key element of the government's agenda. Take action
today

--Contacting You MP

1) Visit the Elections Canada website to find out who your MP is
2) Find out your MP's constituency office address
3) "Send your MP a letter requesting a meeting or expressing your concern

Contact: Liyu Guo, Campaign 2000 and Family Service Association of Toronto; and Jesse Chandler, Campaign 2000 -
liyugu@fsatoronto.com; jessiech@fsatoronto.com - tel: 416-595-9230, ext. 244/222- fax:416-595-0242


Related site: Campaign 2000's Meeting Your MP Info Site
Laidlaw Foundation - Toronto, Ontario, 8 Jul 02


Laidlaw Foundation Releases List of its first 12 working papers on social inclusion

Attention all thinkers and doers - policy makers, policy and service practitioners, academics
and students, advocates and activists - anyone interested in the well being of our children
and their families, and the health, vitality and prosperity of our communities, cities and
country.

The Laidlaw Foundation’s new working paper series, Perspectives on Social Inclusion,
explores how social inclusion points to ‘what needs to change’- in public policies and in
institutional practices - in order to secure the full inclusion of all children and families in
Canada. The working papers draw attention to the new realities and new understandings
that must be brought to bear on the development of social policy, and the creation of
inclusive cities and a just society.

Social inclusion reflects a proactive, human development approach to social well-being that
calls for more than the removal of barriers or risks. It requires investments and action to
bring about the conditions for inclusion, as the population health and international human
development movements have taught us.

Social inclusion is about developing the talents, skills and capacities of children and adults
to participate in the social and economic mainstream of community life - as valued,
respected and contributing members. It extends beyond bringing the ‘outsiders’ in, or
notions of the periphery versus the centre. It is about closing physical, social and economic
distances separating people, rather than primarily about eliminating boundaries or barriers
between us and them.

The following is a list of the first 12 working papers, with links to those already published.
These papers can either be downloaded from the Laidlaw Foundation's web site,
www.laidlawfdn.org, or purchased for $11.00 each/ $6.00 for summary set of 3 from
workingpapers@laidlawfdn.org.

Clyde Hertzman, Director, Human Early Learning Partnership of BC, University of British
Columbia.
Leave No Child Behind! Social Exclusion and Child Development. MAY 2002

Andrew Jackson, Director of Research, Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD), co-
authored with Katherine Scott, Policy Associate, CCSD.
Does Work Include Children? The Effects of the Labour Market on Family Income, Time and
Stress. MAY 2002
Dow Marmur, Rabbi Emeritus, Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto.
Ethical Reflections on Social Inclusion
MAY 2002

Michael Bach, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Association for Community Living. Social
Inclusion as Solidarity: Re-thinking the Child Rights Agenda
JUNE 2002

Martha Friendly, Childcare Resource and Research Unit, University of Toronto, and Dr.
Donna Lero, Associate Professor, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of
Guelph.Social Inclusion Through Early Childhood Education and Care
JUNE 2002

Dr. Meg Luxton, Director, Graduate Programme in Women's Studies, Atkinson College, York
University.
Feminist Perspectives on Social Inclusion and Children's Well-Being
JUNE 2002

Andrew Mitchell, Program Director at the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, and
Richard Shillington, social policy analyst, Tristat Resources.
Poverty, inequality and social inclusion
AUGUST 2002

Terry Wotherspoon, Head and Professor, Department of Sociology, University of
Saskatchewan.
The Dynamics of Social Inclusion: Public Education and Aboriginal People in Canada
AUGUST 2002

Peter Donnelly, Faculty of Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto, and Jay
Coakley, Department of Sociology, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
The Role of Recreation in Promoting Social Inclusion
AUGUST 2002

Catherine Frazee, chair of the Task Force on Ethics and Values for the Canadian Association
for Community Living, and part-time faculty member in the School of Disability Studies at
Ryerson University.
Thumbs Up! Inclusion, Rights and Equality as Experienced by Youth with Disabilities.
SEPTEMBER 2002

Anver Saloojee, Professor, Department of Politics and School of Public Administration,
Ryerson University.
Social Inclusion, Anti Racism and Democratic Citizenship.
SEPTEMBER 2002

Ratna Omidvar, Executive Director of the Maytree Foundation, and Ted Richmond,
Administrative Coordinator of CERIS, The Joint Centre of Excellence for Research on
Immigration and Settlement.
Towards the Social Inclusion of New Canadians
SEPTEMBER 2002
Summaries of all published papers are available in French and English. Since the papers are
being released in sets of three, the summaries include all three papers.
MAY 2002 Summaries:
http://www.laidlawfdn.org/programmes/children/summaries_may2002.pdf
http://www.laidlawfdn.org/programmes/children/sommaires_may2002.pdf

JUNE 2002 Summaries:
http://www.laidlawfdn.org/programmes/children/summaries_june2002.pdf
http://www.laidlawfdn.org/programmes/children/sommaires_june2002.pdf
Contact: Laidlaw Contact - workingpapers@laidlawfdn.org
Related site: Laidlaw Foundation's website
Campaign 2000 - Toronto, 18 Jun 02


Child Poverty Remains Off Ontario Government’s Agenda

Child Poverty Remains Off Government’s Agenda

Toronto - The focus of today’s provincial budget on the theme of growth and prosperity
utterly failed to acknowledge the continuing struggles of poor children and families in
Ontario. Despite the fact that 1 in 6 children remains in poverty, the supposed new face of
the provincial government is no more aware of the needs of vulnerable children and families
than the previous one.

“It is troubling that the government claims to be setting a clear vision for prosperity and yet
fails to even mention the scope of deep and persistent poverty across this province. The
promise made that tax cuts and economic growth would solve poverty was not kept. One in
six children remains poor. And poor families continue to live, on average, more than $9,000
below the poverty line. A strategy for dealing with this broken promise was sorely lacking in
the Finance Minister’s speech,” said Pedro Barata, Ontario Coordinator of Campaign 2000.

While following up on some long overdue action in social policy areas including health and
education, Campaign 2000 laments that child care, housing, social assistance and labour
market conditions were not even mentioned in the budget. The announced one-year delay
of personal and corporate income tax cuts simply puts off the inevitable drain on resources
and the fact that those who are better off will get even more. It is unfortunate that there is
no similar steadfastness to investing in the well-being of children and families.

Parents belonging to the Parent Action Network joined a chorus of voices expressing
disappointment with the status quo on poverty:

"There's not much in this budget reflecting the Throne Speech promise for a 'New Era for
Ontario'", said Kali Tsimidis, a parent activist in Toronto, "We still have child care cuts, an
inadequate minimum wage, the child benefit clawback, no affordable housing strategy,
welfare cuts and so on. The 'new era' looks a lot like the old era so far."

"What's in this budget for my family? I invested in my own education and left social
assistance for work, so this government would consider my family one of its success stories",
said parent activist Jill McLean, "But I am left with a large student debt, and survive on part
time and temporary employment contracts with no benefits. I worry because I will lose pay
if my children or I get sick. And I worry what will happen as I approach the end of each
contract."

"Affordable housing and an adequate income are huge issues for my family", said Bertha,
parent activist and mother of four children, "It takes nearly all my income to pay for a two-
bedroom apartment. We survive on food banks and donations from my church. It is a
struggle to cater to my children's basic needs. Families and children deserve to live in
greater dignity than this."

"This budget willfully neglects children and families living in poverty", said Colin Hughes of
the Child Poverty Action Group, "Much could and should be done. And some measures, such
as improved rent controls, a minimum wage hike, and better employment standards would
not cost the province a dime. This is inexcusable."

Ontario Campaign 2000 has repeatedly called on the provincial government to introduce a
four-point plan to address child and family poverty in Ontario. Such a plan must include new
investments that raise social assistance rates and end the clawback of the National Child
Benefit; expand access to early childhood education and child care services; ensure access
to affordable housing; and increase the number of family friendly jobs that pay living wages.

Campaign 2000 is a cross-Canada coalition of more than 85 diverse organizations
committed to the elimination of child and family poverty and to improving the life chances
for all children.

See also the Ontario Alternative Budget at http://www.policyalternatives.ca/

Contact: Pedro Barata - pedroba@fsatoronto.com - tel: 416 595-9230- fax:416-595-0242

Related site: Ontario Ministry of Finance - Budget
Campaign 2000 - Toronto, 31 May 02


High Rates of Child Poverty Persist Despite Child Benefits

An enhanced child benefit that reaches all lower income families is key to substantially
reducing child and family poverty in Canada, said child advocates following the release of
the federal Progress Report on the National Child Benefit (NCB 2001). The modest success
in reducing child and family poverty as shown in the report reflects both the modest federal
investments and the denial of the NCB benefit to families on social assistance by some
provinces.

“The federal report shows the potential that substantial child income benefits can have in
preventing and reducing poverty. But you will only get out what you put in. Without
significant increases to the benefit on the horizon, what has been achieved so far is not
close to what is needed,” said Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator of Campaign 2000. “A
real commitment to significantly raise the living standards of all families and reduce child
poverty by half will require a maximum benefit of $4,200 per child to all low and modest
income families.”

The maximum Canada Child Tax Benefit* - which includes the National Child Benefit - is set
to increase to an estimated $2,500 by 2004. In many provinces (including Ontario, Alberta
and BC), provincial governments deduct the full or part of the amount of the National Child
Benefit from the cheques of those families on social assistance. This means that a single
mother with one child has her annual federal NCB payment of $1,250 deducted dollar for
dollar from her welfare income.

“The National Child Benefit puts extra cash in the pockets of low income families but some
provinces continue to pick the pockets of poor children whose families rely on social
assistance. It is disgraceful to penalize poor children because their parents need a social
safety net at some point in their lives. To more effectively reduce the rate and depth of child
poverty, and to be fair, the benefit levels must increase, and all low income children must
benefit. “ said Colin Hughes, Child Poverty Action Group.

“Increasing benefits to all families is an important contributing factor to reducing the
incidence and depth of child poverty. The findings in the federal report confirm that such
transfers, along with a growing economy, decent wages, access to high quality licensed
child care, affordable housing, and education and training are the keys to creating the
conditions where child poverty can be eliminated,” said Michael Goldberg, Research Director
of the Social Planning and Research Council of BC.

*The National Child Benefit is an income support program targeted to low and modest
income families and is a supplement to the Canada Child Tax Benefit which provides support
to 80 per cent of Canadian families with children. Effective July 2002, the NCB will provide a
maximum of $1,293 for the first child, while the base benefit provides a maximum of
$1,151 for the first child. See www.ccra-ardc.ca/benefits/cctb for further information.

Contact: Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator, Campaign 2000 - - tel: Cell: 416-575-9230; or 416-595-9230, ext.
244- fax:416-595-0242


Related site: Website for the National Child Benefit Progress Report 2001



Campaign 2000 - Toronto, 9 May 02


Poor Children Left Off Eves’ Radar Screen

Toronto - Child advocates expressed disappointment with the scant attention given to
poverty in the Eves’ government first Throne Speech. Critics charge that child and family
poverty remains off the Premier’s agenda despite suggestions of a change of tone with the
reshuffled government.

“This Throne Speech was an opportunity to send a signal to vulnerable families that much
needed help in the form of services and programs was on the way. The government’s
promise over the last seven years that tax cuts and economic growth would solve poverty
does not hold up to scrutiny. What was the result of the boom for poor families? One in six
children remains poor. And poor families continue to live, on average, more than $9,000
below the poverty line.” said Pedro Barata, Ontario Coordinator.

While promising long overdue action in some social policy areas including health and
education, Campaign 2000 laments that the needs of Ontario’s poorest will continue to go
unmet. The Throne speech promises more tax cuts yet notes that provincial revenues are
pinched and require that “difficult decisions” be made.

Social assistance benefit rates are now 30% lower than in 1995; only one child in ten has
access to a regulated child care space; and our crisis in affordable housing has resulted in
growing numbers of families with children using shelters. “The real ‘difficult decisions’ are
for parents who have to decide between working and caring for their children, or eating and
paying their rent,” said Colin Hughes, Child Poverty Action Group. “Why is it that the money
is always there to pay for tax cuts, but is never there to help more vulnerable citizens?”

“The government’s seemingly lengthy list of discrete measures for children is not an anti-
poverty strategy. What families need are concrete actions backed up with resources. Solving
child poverty is not a mystery - it is a matter of will. Children and families need a
comprehensive recipe for investments that looks at raising family incomes, expanding
access to child care and affordable housing, fixing the education system and ensuring
family-friendly jobs that pay living wages,” said Gerald Van de Zande, Campaign Against
Child Poverty.

Ontario Campaign 2000 continues to call on the provincial government to introduce a four-
point plan to address child and family poverty in Ontario. Such a plan must include new
investments that raise social assistance rates and end the clawback of the National Child
Benefit; expand access to early childhood education and child care services; ensure access
to affordable housing; and increase the number of family friendly jobs that pay living wages.
Campaign 2000 is a cross-Canada coalition of more than 85 diverse organizations
committed to the elimination of child and family poverty and to improving the life chances
for all children.

For more Information please contact:
Pedro Barata & Laurel Rothman, Campaign 2000, 416-595-9230 ext. 241 / 228
Colin Hughes, Child Poverty Action Group, (416) 924-4640 ext. 3108
Gerald Van de Zande, Campaign Against Child Poverty, 416-293-8912

Contact: Pedro Barata - pedroba@fsatoronto.com - tel: 416 595-9230

Campaign 2000 - Ottawa, 4 May 02


Poverty cuts deep, governments called to act

Youth preparing for the upcoming United Nations Special Session on Children in New York
have strong views about what it's like growing up poor in Canada. "Poverty is real for
children. It is stigmatizing and it hurts. The government's response has often been illusory,"
says high school student and youth activist, Sarah Dagg.

Sarah will be joining children's rights activists in the release of a report documenting the
past 10 years of child and family poverty in Canada. The report chronicles Canada's record
on child poverty since it last took to the world stage at the first United Nation's summit for
children in 1990.

OTTAWA

WHEN: Monday, May 6, 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Room 130-S, Centre Block, Parliament Hill

WHO: Laurel Rothman, Co-ordinator, Campaign 2000; June Callwood, author and activist
with Campaign Against Child Poverty; Elaine Teofilovici, Executive Director, YWCA of/du
Canada and Sarah Dagg, student and youth activist.

Canadian young people attending the United Nations Special Session are available for phone
interviews from New York. Contact Nicole Amoroso, cell: (416) 419-1185.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Media will have photographic access to children at local child care
centres if required.

Child poverty rate in Canada, 1989-99

1989   14.4% - 936,000
1990   16.9% - 1,107,000
1991   18.2% - 1,142,000
1992   19.1% - 1,090,000
1993   21.3% - 1,247,000
1994   19.5% - 931,000
1995   21% - 1,472,000
1996   21.2% - 1,499,300
1997   20.1% - 1,416,500
1998   19% - 1,338,200
1999   18.5% - 1,298,000

[SOURCE: 1989-1995 Data prepared by the Canadian Council on Social Development using
Statistics Canada's Survey of Consumer Finances, microdata files; 1996-1999 Data
prepared by the CCSD, using Statistics Canada Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics,
1999]

For further information, please contact:
Laurel Rothman: (416) 595-9230/228, cell: (416) 575-9230
[or Pedro Barata: (416) 595-9230 x241]
Elaine Teofilovici: (416) 962-8881 x241, cell: (416) 737-0813 - French/English
Taeeba Sadar: (416) 221-5501 x289 (for interviews with Sarah Dagg)

Contact: Laurel Rothman - laurelro@fsatoronto.com - tel: (416) 595-9230/228, cell: (416) 575-9230

Related site: UNSSC section of the Campaign 2000 web site
Camapgne2000 - Toronto, 3 May 02


La pauvreté blesse profondément, les gouvernements doivent agir

Les jeunes qui se préparent pour la Session extraordinaire des Nations Unies consacrée aux
enfants, qui aura lieu prochainement à New York, ont une opinion sans équivoque sur ce
que cela signifie d'être élevé dans la pauvreté au Canada. "La pauvreté est très réelle pour
les enfants. Elle est stigmatisante et elle fait mal. La réponse du gouvernement a souvent
été illusoire", déclare l'étudiante du secondaire et la jeune activiste, Sarah Dagg.

Sarah se joindra à des activistes de la cause du droit des enfants pour le lancement d'un
rapport documentant la pauvreté des enfants et des familles pendant les dix dernières
années au Canada. Le rapport relate les résultats du Canada sur la pauvreté des enfants
depuis que le pays avait pris la scène internationale lors du premier sommet mondial pour
les enfants en 1990.

OTTAWA

DATE : le lundi 6 mai à 10h 30

LIEU : Pièce 130-S, Édifice du centre, au Parlement

CONTACTS : Laurel Rothman, coordinatrice, Campagne 2000; June Callwood, auteure et
activiste avec la Campagne contre la pauvreté des enfants; Elaine Teofilovici, directrice
générale, YWCA of/du Canada et Sarah Dagg, étudiante et jeune activiste.

Les jeunes Canadiens participant à la Session extraordinaire des Nations Unies sont
disponibles pour des interviews par téléphone de New York. Veuillez contacter Nicole
Amoroso sur son cellulaire au : (416) 419-1185.
PHOTOS : les média auront la possibilité de prendre des photographies d'enfants dans les
centres de garderies locales si nécessaire.

TAUX DE PAUVRETÉ DES ENFANTS AU CANADA 1989-99

1989   14.4%   -   936,000
1990   16.9%   -   1,107,000
1991   18.2%   -   1,142,000
1992   19.1%   -   1,090,000
1993   21.3%   -   1,247,000
1994   19.5%   -   931,000
1995   21% - 1,472,000
1996   21.2% - 1,499,300
1997   20.1% - 1,416,500
1998   19% - 1,338,200
1999   18.5% - 1,298,000

[SOURCE : Données de 1989-1995 calculées par le Conseil canadien de développement
social d'après les microdonnées de l'Enquête sur les finances des consommateurs de
Statistique Canada; données de 1996-1999 calculées par le CCDS, d'après l'Enquête sur la
dynamique du travail et du revenu de Statistique Canada, 1999]

Pour davantage d'information, veuillez appeler :
Laurel Rothman : (416) 595-9230 poste 228, cell : (416) 575-9230
(ou Pedro Barata : (416) 595-9230 poste 241)
Elaine Teofilovici : (416) 962-8881 poste 241, cell : (416) 737-0813 - français/anglais
Taeeba Sadar: (416) 221-5501 poste 289 (pour des interviews avec Sarah Dagg).

Contact: Laurel Rothman - laurelro@fsatoronto.com - tel: (416) 595-9230 poste 228, cell : (416) 575-9230

Related site: http://www.campaign2000.ca/fr/
Campaign 2000 - Toronto, 30 Apr 02


Canada's PM develops stage fright for UN Children’s Session

Ottawa is paying scant attention to the United Nations Special Session on Children taking
place in New York, May 8-10. It is a far different response than the state occasion marking
the first session for children held 12 years ago.

Canada initiated that 1990 gathering of world leaders at which then Prime Minister Brian
Mulroney held centre stage throughout the proceedings. This time the Prime Minister has
declined to attend. Canada’s official delegation will be led by Deputy Prime Minister John
Manley who plans to be in New York for less than a day.

The UN recognized Canada by calling the official document for the Session “A World Fit for
Children”, after a statement made by Senator Landon Pearson following the September 11
events. The honour was not enough to get Prime Minister Chrétien past his stage fright.

It is not like Chrétien to avoid an international platform, leading child advocates to
speculate that it is the potential for embarrassment that is keeping the Prime Minister away.
There are 360,000 more poor children in Canada today than when the House of Commons
passed a resolution to eliminate child poverty in 1989. Not only the expanse, but the depth
of family poverty has remained high. Children in families led by lone mothers remain most
vulnerable.

A 2000 UN report entitled “Child Poverty in Rich Nations” ranked 23 industrialized countries
on their records in tackling child poverty and put Canada well near the bottom at number 17.

Critics believe the federal government consciously allowed families with young children to
shoulder the burden of its quest for balanced budgets. Officials may rhyme off initiatives ---
an increased Canada Child Tax Benefit, extended benefits to eligible new parents, the
federal/provincial agreement on early childhood development, support for aboriginal
children and a new partnership on housing. However new spending in these areas does not
come close to replacing the support to children and families that has been cut over the last
decade.

Given sufficient profile, “A World Fit for Children” can be a catalyst for action. An
appropriate response would be for the Prime Minister to use the occasion of the Special
Session to launch a National Action Plan to reach that goal.
Children’s organizations are undertaking a series of activities leading up to the Session
opening. At a May 6 media conference in Ottawa, Campaign 2000 will release its Status
Report on Child and Family Poverty in Canada and a declaration signed by an extensive
number of organizations endorsing the call for an Action Plan for Children. The following day
Campaign Against Child Poverty will run a full-page newspaper ad reminding the Prime
Minister of commitments made to end child poverty but not kept. Members of the youth
delegation attending the New York session will also be available for interviews.

For more information:

Laurel Rothman
Campaign 2000
416- 595-9230 Ext. 228; or cell phone 416-575-9230

June Callwood
Campaign Against Child Poverty
416-231-1923

Alanna Kapell
Save the Children Canada
416-221-5501

Also for interviews in French:
Elaine Teofilovici
YWCA of/du Canada
416-962-8881 Ext: 241

For regional contacts:
Laurel Rothman, 416- 595-9230 Ext. 228 or Pedro Barata at Ext. 241

Other sources:
The United Nations Special Session on Children: www.unicef.org/specialsession
A Canada Fit for Children: www.savethenchildrencanada.ca
Campaign 2000’s Status Report on Child and Family Poverty in Canada:
www.campaign2000.ca
Child Poverty in Rich Nations: www.unicef.org.uk/news/pdf%20files/repcard1e.pdf

Contact: Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator, Campaign 2000 - liyugu@fsatoronto.com - tel: 416-575-9230 (cell)-
fax:416-595-0242


Related site: Special UNSSC section of Campaign 2000 website, including an NGO resolution for action
Campaign 2000 - Toronto, 5 Mar 02


Ontario Pre-Budget Committee Urged to Address Child Poverty

Campaign 2000 Brief to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs

Introduction

Ontario Campaign 2000 is a provincial chapter of Campaign 2000, a national public
education movement of over 90 organizations seeking implementation of the 1989 federal
House of Commons resolution to eliminate child poverty in Canada. In Ontario, Campaign
2000 engages in research and public education regarding child and family poverty in
conjunction with our over 40 partners representing professional groups and organizations,
faith communities, labour unions, ethno-cultural organizations, individuals and community
organizations.

Pedro Barata is the Ontario Coordinator of Campaign 2000. Colin Hughes is a member of the
steering committee of Campaign 2000 and is a Community Worker with the Children's Aid
Society of Toronto.

What has happened to child poverty in Ontario?

Almost one half million Ontario children (448,400) live in poverty. The good news is that
economic growth has finally contributed to a decline in the number of children who are poor.
The bad news is considering Ontario's prosperity and growth the decline in child poverty has
been quite marginal. Despite economic growth the number of poor children in Ontario
remains at near-recession levels - In 1989 about 1 in 10 children in Ontario was poor; by
1999 1 in 6 children was poor. Ontario's growth and prosperity is not benefiting all families
and children. The depth of poverty grew from $8,717 in 1989 to $9,089 in 1998. This is the
amount that it would take to lift the average poor family to the poverty line. Ontario has a
huge child poverty problem.

Consider the following figures which track our progress in addressing the well-being of
children over the past decade:

Number of poor children up 82%
Number of children in working poor families up 135%
Number of poor children in families with full-time, full-year employment up to 124%
Poor children in 2 parent families up 82%
Poor children in female lone-parent families up 69%
Average tuition fees (90/91-00/01) up 140%
Average depth of poverty up $372
Social assistance benefits for parents with children (89-99) down 19%
Annual provincial allocation for regulated child care (95-98) down 15%

Currently, we risk becoming resigned to the fact that despite economic growth so many
children and families continue to live in poverty. We are also in danger of consenting to the
permanent exclusion of many children and families by accepting the idea that through tax
cuts we will be able to avert deeper inequalities. The next provincial budget will be an
opportunity to make choices and set priorities for the future of Ontario. We urge the Ontario
government to commit to an investment strategy that will establish a comprehensive social
infrastructure for children and families in this province. Governments can play a vital role in
preventing social exclusion by providing families with the security and stability that they
need.

The importance of investing in children: Income and healthy child development and the key
determinants of life-long health

A healthy start in life has a long-term impact on the well-being of children. Children who live
in poverty encounter more hurdles to healthy development and are at an elevated risk for a
wide range of negative outcomes to their health and well-being.

Research shows:

poor children are more likely to have low birth weights and experience resulting adverse
effects such as chronic illness and disabilities;
poor children are more likely to have lower functioning vision, hearing, speech, mobility,
dexterity, cognition, emotion and pain/discomfort;
poor children are less likely to participate in organized sports and recreational activities;
poor children are less likely to live in safe neighbourhoods and are at a disproportionate risk
of exposure to environmental contaminants.

Ontario's economic engine sputtering for low income families

The Ontario government has largely relied on economic growth and tax cuts to address the
income security needs of families. While the labour market is an important factor to
consider in addressing poverty, the persistence of child poverty in Ontario clearly illustrates
that relying on economic growth alone is not an effective strategy for ensuring the well-
being of children.

General tax cuts are not an effective anti-poverty strategy because they often deliver little
or no benefit to low income families, tend to benefit upper income families
disproportionately, and, deplete public revenues available for other types of social
investment. General tax cuts erode our fiscal capacity to invest in public services and
supports such as schools, libraries, recreational centres, and other supports that people rely
on in their communities. Reductions in personal income taxes do very little to substantially
raise the incomes of poor families and result decreased services, more user fees and rising
housing costs.

We would urge that to tackle child and family poverty effectively a more balanced approach
is required. It is time for the province to use our public revenues and other policy levers to
invest in comprehensive supports for families with children. Government transfers through
programs such as the GST credit, the Child Tax Benefit, and Employment Insurance
prevented almost 200,000 children from sliding into poverty in 1999. The child poverty rate
was reduced from 23.5% before transfers to 16.5% after transfers. Clearly governments
investments can have a dramatic impact on the well-being of children - much more can be
done with additional commitments.

If the use of tax system is to be continued as an instrument of putting more money into the
hands of taxpayers, tax cuts should be concentrated on modest and low-income earners and
not disproportionately benefit higher income earners. Tax measures to address poverty
should ensure that they reward the work efforts of those struggling in the lower income
sector so they have more spending money to invest in themselves and the future of their
children. Equalizing investment in children could significantly contribute to efficiency by
enhancing their productivity as adults benefiting all of us.

Recommendation #1: Campaign 2000 calls on the Provincial government to fulfil its
promises to children and to take immediate action by shifting its strategy away from a one-
sided approach to tax cuts. The province should adopt a more balanced approach by taking
action on new investments in income security; early childhood development services and
child care; housing; education and a strategy to increase the number of good jobs.

The labour market and the working poor

While social assistance caseloads and unemployment have dropped dramatically, child
poverty rates have not experienced a corresponding decline. Many of the welfare and
unemployed poor have become the working poor. The number of children living in poor
families with full-time, full-year employment continued to grow steadily to 205,800 in 1999.
Overall, the number of poor children in families with any amount of work in Ontario more
than doubled since 1989 to 242,600 in 1999. Many parents continue to work in minimum
wage jobs that pay wages far below the poverty line.

While good jobs that adequately support families are a key component in reducing child
poverty, part-time, contract, or seasonal jobs with few or no benefits are increasingly
common. And even among those families that work full-time, full-year, their earnings do not
guarantee that a family will escape poverty. Freezing the minimum wage in 1995 was
counterproductive and unfair. The value or purchasing power of minimum wage earners’
paycheques shrinks because they are frozen while the price of everything increases with
each passing year.

Recommendation #2: Increase the supply of good jobs with better wages and increased
protection from job losses. The government should provide meaningful training and increase
the minimum wage to reflect the actual costs of raising a family. The government should
also ensure that the labour code protects parents from the possibility of being forced to
work 60 hour weeks.

Family Income Security - Social Assistance

Many parents and children remain on social assistance due to a lack of good, secure jobs
and supports such as child care. The effects of the 21.6% cut to benefits in 1995 are still
with us: families are having trouble with paying the rent, maintaining housing, caring for
their children and feeding themselves; they have difficulty doing more than simply surviving.
And with each passing year that the cost of living goes up, the purchasing power of benefits
diminishes - with inflation, the cuts in 1995 now amount to almost 30% of the benefits of
those on social assistance. In 1995 welfare benefits for a two-parent family were 70%
below the poverty line, and for single parent they were 67% below the poverty line. Now
they are in deeper poverty: 60% and 55% below the poverty line respectively.

There are two approaches to welfare reform. The workfare approach is to slash benefits,
make life on welfare as uncomfortable as possible, and seek the shortest route into the
labour market for welfare recipients. The alternative approach is to maintain a minimum
income through which a modest but reasonable amount is provided for shelter and basic
needs while investing in human and labour market development.

Ontario Works continues to fail to meet the needs of families. Research on Ontario Works
reveals deeper poverty as a result of cuts to benefits and a lack of supports for parents who
must fulfil work requirements. Ontario Works is actually making it more difficult for families
to make the transition from welfare to work. This is because the day-to-day struggle for
basic needs makes planning for the future difficult. Extreme poverty results in increased
marginalization and deteriorating health which contributes to exclusion from opportunities.

It is time to revisit Ontario's reforms, particularly the adequacy of social assistance benefits.
As indicated, the depth of poverty associated with life on welfare is a major barrier to
successful welfare to work transitions. And welfare poverty is getting worse.

Recommendation #3: Rectify the current lack of income security among families on social
assistance across the province by Restoring Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support
Program benefit levels against the effect of cuts and inflation since 1995. . Family Income
Security - The Clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS)

The Canada Child Tax Benefit is part of Canada's effort to fight child poverty and is made up
of a base benefit and a supplement (NCBS) for low-income families. In July 2001 the federal
NCB Supplement increased to $1,255/year from $977. The base portion of the Child Tax
Benefit will increase to $1,117 (it is now indexed to protect it from inflation). While the
federal government could and should do more to raise the benefit, it is worth noting that
improving child benefits does represent modest progress in fighting child poverty.

Unfortunately, and quite unfairly, the Province of Ontario claws back every penny of the
NCB Supplement from children whose families are welfare poor. Ostensibly, the rational is
to increase the parents’ attachment to the labour market. If parents work and earn enough
to leave welfare they keep the federal supplement on top of their earnings. But if they are
on welfare at all, the full value of the supplement is deducted as income from their social
assistance.

The argument that deducting the child benefit supplement as income from welfare actually
promotes access and attachment to the labour market is not particularly strong. Consider
the following:

1. The benefit is deducted from parents and children on welfare who are not expected to
seek and accept employment. Disabled parents on ODSP, single parents on welfare with
pre-school children, and children in receipt of temporary care allowances (community foster
children) are not expected to work, but the supplement is deducted from their welfare. This
is quite inequitable and unfair.
2. Parents deemed employable and on welfare with school-aged children are already
required to seek and accept employment under Ontario Works. Deducting the federal
supplement does not address the actual reasons they have trouble leaving welfare, such as:

in-work poverty, that is, employment that is not viable to support a family because it is
temporary, provides insufficient hours, and/or the wages and benefits are too low;

deeper welfare poverty which creates multiple barriers to employment such as unstable
housing, ill health, transportation difficulties, no phone, shabby clothing and so on;

lack of child care that is safe, stable, developmentally enhancing and affordable;

lack of access to training and educational opportunities that could lead to sustaining
employment.

The claw back is clearly inequitable and for the sake of children would be better left with
recipients to have the maximum intended anti-poverty impact. Further, there are policy
levers at the province’s disposal that can more directly and effectively address the barriers
and issues that result in parents having to rely on welfare, or finding themselves trapped in
the unfortunate cycle between welfare and work. These policy levers are addressed
throughout our brief.

There are a number of options available to the province. It could allow those who are not
required to work (i.e. disabled parents, young parents, foster children) to keep the NCBS. It
could also allow municipalities to leave their 20% share of the claw back with recipients
(because municipalities cost share welfare they get that proportion of welfare savings). The
option we favour, however, is to emphasize the anti-poverty goal of the NCBS and allow all
recipients to keep it without it being deducted from welfare. That is the best option for poor
children, and is also the most equitable and easiest to administer.

Recommendation #4: Address anti-poverty and equity policy goals by rescinding the claw
back of the NCBS from social assistance recipients.

NCBS Reinvestment - The province does reinvest welfare savings arising from the claw back
of the NCBS into the Ontario Child Care Supplement for Working Families (OCCSWF).
Maximum eligible benefits for each child under age 7 years are $1,310 for single parents
and $1,100 for two parents.

There are two positive features to this program which we recognise and would like to retain,
providing another form of funding is found other than taking money from welfare poor
children to give to other poor children. The Child Care Supplement recognises the need to
provide low income working families with income support. Second, the program’s name
indicates that the province at least recognises child care as an important issue for these
families.

We can not accept that the program is funded in large part with the welfare savings taken
from welfare poor families through clawing back the NCBS. We urge that the province end
the clawback, and fund this program out of other revenues.

We also object that the program is a misnomer. It is really not child care, it is a work
income supplement. Nor is the supplement enough to purchase much child care for those
who have those costs. Nor is it an effective policy direction if we want to build a system of
quality child care (quality care is neither assured nor promoted with the OCCSWF).

The work income supplement should develop in tandem with other policies to make work
pay, such as increasing the minimum wage (as urged by the OECD). Child care is an active
labour market policy but must be developed with two policy goals in mind: enabling parents
to study/work and providing children with a good start in life through safe and
developmentally enhancing care.

Recommendation #5: Fund the Child Care Supplement for Working Families from other
provincial revenues and re-label it as a work income supplement for working families.
Incorporate it with a policy strategy to make work pay through adequate wages. Develop
child care with two policy goals in mind: enabling parents to study/work and providing
children with a good start in life through safe and developmentally enhancing care (i.e.
quality).

Family Income Security - Employment Insurance

While social assistance is under provincial auspices and Employment Insurance (EI) is
federal, the two programs are related because they both provide some degree of income
protection to working parents who become unemployed.

The first line of defence for unemployed parents should be EI. Changes to EI and changes in
the labour market have resulted, however, in EI providing increasingly less coverage for
unemployed workers in Ontario. Over the past decade the proportion of unemployed
workers receiving EI has dropped to 25% from 57% in 1990 in Ontario.

Those who do not qualify for EI end up on social assistance. The detrimental effect of being
raised on social assistance on children and their future has been well documented by a slew
of research in both Canada and the U.S..

At the same time, if unemployed workers are not eligible for EI they are likely to end up on
provincial social assistance. It is in Ontario’s interest and the interest of workers to secure
better coverage under EI from Ottawa, particularly prior to Ontario heading into an
economic downturn. There are already signs that welfare caseloads are starting to rise.

Recommendation # 6: Secure better coverage under EI from Ottawa to protect Ontario’s
working families from unemployment and prevent them from having to rely on provincial
welfare.

Early Childhood Education and Care

Considerable research now supports the view that - if they are of high quality - Early
Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services can meet multiple goals simultaneously:

1. ECEC services support and enhance children's well-being, development and lifelong
learning; 2. Support parents in education, training, employment, socially and personally; 3.
Foster social solidarity and social cohesion; 4. Provide equity for diverse groups in society.

In Ontario, there were almost 2,000,000 children age 0-12 of whom close to 70% have
mothers in the paid workforce. At the same time, there were approximately 167,090
regulated child care and nursery school spaces. This means that there is regulated ECEC
available for less than 12% of children. There are no new investments being proposed by
the Ontario government.

Child care suffered a $71 million budgetary reduction between 1995 and 1998. The
proportion of child care centres’ revenue from government continues to decline. The annual
provincial allocation for each child in regulated child care declined 18% since 1995. As a
result, Ontario has the highest monthly fees for full-time, centre based care in Canada. With
municipal downloading in 1997/1998, the costs of wage grants, resource centres, and
special needs have been partially downloaded to overburdened municipalities.

Campaign 2000 was disappointed that the provincial government passed up on an
opportunity to strengthen the child care system when it chose to not use any of the $114
million in federal funds provided under the Early Childhood Development Initiative to invest
in high-quality early childhood education and care.

Ontario must adopt a systematic and integrated approach to ECEC policy and service
provision to move towards a system of seamless, inclusive services that offer both care and
education. Campaign 2000’s vision for a system of Early Childhood Development (ECD)
services in Ontario provides for a coordinated range of services for all young children and
their families including pre-and post natal care; early childhood education and care; and
supports to communities and parents. In our vision, ECD services meet the needs of all
families regardless of income or employment status. The people who provide these services
and supports are recognized and respected for the value and importance of the work they
do. ECD services are also tailored to the needs of each region and community to meet
Ontario’s diverse needs. In order to ensure public accountability and coherence, all
programs are consistent with common principles to ensure that they are high quality,
comprehensive, integrated, affordable and accessible.

Recommendation #7: Ontario must develop a multiyear plan with appropriate resources
that reflects the goal of universal access and concretely moves toward expansion of services
to ensure that every child has access to ECEC services. The first step towards this would be
for the Ontario government immediately to restore regulated child care funding to 1995
levels. At the same time, the Ontario government should take leadership with the federal
government and at the national federal/provincial/territorial table urging resumption of an
appropriate federal role and substantial funding for ECEC within a national policy framework.

Affordable Housing

Beginning in 1995, the province cancelled all new social housing starts and downloaded
responsibilities for existing social housing to municipalities. Social housing waiting lists are
getting longer with typical waits lasting 2 to 10 years. In Toronto alone, there are 40,000
children on waiting lists for affordable housing.

In 1997, the Tenant Protection Act removed rent controls on new or vacant units. Rents
have continued to rise in most municipalities. Today, almost 1 in 4 tenants could be
considered at potential risk of homelessness since rental costs consume more than 50% of
their pre-tax household income. Rental housing starts have dropped 92% since 1989
resulting in provincial vacancy rates averaging a low 2.1%. Toronto, Barrie, Ottawa, Peel
and other regions had vacancy rates of 1% or less in 1999. Not surprisingly, municipalities
across Ontario have found alarming increases in the use of shelters over the past four years.
Youth and families with children are the fastest-growing group of hostel users.
The Anne Golden report on homelessness notes that 2,000 low-rent units are needed in
Toronto alone just to meet new demand. It notes that the most significant contributing
factors in increased homelessness are the province’s cuts to welfare and termination of
housing programs. For years the province has insisted that its strategies will create
affordable rental housing. But since 1995 there have been no new social housing units built
and almost no new affordable housing units built privately in Toronto.

The number of families with children having to seek refuge in shelters is steadily rising.
Shelters are not substitutes for affordable, permanent housing. What children need is
stability and continuity in their living situation.

Recommendation #8: Work with federal government to set targets and provide funding and
incentives to increase the amount of affordable rental housing and supportive housing and
strengthen rent controls and other protections for tenants.

Accessibility to Post-Secondary Education

Post-secondary education adds considerably to the skills of Ontario’s current and future
workforce. The link between education and employment is irrefutable. The shares of jobs
are increasing substantially for those with post-secondary education. For those with a high
school education or less, the share of jobs is dropping.

Tuition fees have increased considerably such that fees and student debts now pose a
significant barrier to access of post-secondary education. (Fees increased in Ontario by
158% for university and 147% for college over the past decade; between 1995 and 1998
they increased 60% and 53% respectively; average student debt at graduation has
increased from $8,000 to $25,000). Tuition fees are becoming a huge burden for ordinary
students and families and must be lowered.

Ontario should also re-examine its policy with regard to welfare recipients who pursue post-
secondary studies. Ontario made recipients ineligible for welfare as college and university
students and transferred 17,000 parents to student loans. These students face the prospect
of a huge debt-load because they must support themselves, their studies, and their family,
and pay for child care.

Recommendation #9: Work with the federal government to freeze and lower tuition fees by
increasing investments to colleges and universities and make access to post secondary
education a welfare-to-work option, and provide assistance with child care.

Some children are at a greater risk of exclusion

In Ontario, some children face a much greater risk of being excluded from important
childhood experiences that have a long-term impact on well-being. Almost one in two
aboriginal children is poor. This rate decreases slightly for visible minority children.

The pressure on families with children with special needs is immense. Many parents give up
employment in order to care for the child. Some end up as the sole caregiver. More than
one third of children with disabilities in Ontario lives with a poor family. In 2000, the
government established the Integrated Services of Children Division with the aim of
achieving better planning and coordination for children with multiple disabilities. The
announcement is a step in the right direction, yet much more needs to be done in order to
expand services and reduce long waiting lists, maintain capital equipment and provide
competitive salaries. Children with special needs also need consistent services in schools
across the province and parents deserve the right to provide input regarding the range of
available services.

The Ontario Government should commit to work with the federal government to implement
policies that promote a more inclusive society

Campaign 2000 calls on the Provincial government to make a real difference for children
and families by implementing a strategy to substantially reduce child and family poverty in
Ontario.

Recommendation #1: Campaign 2000 calls on the Provincial government to fulfil its
promises to children and to take immediate action by shifting its strategy away from a one-
sided approach to tax cuts. The province should adopt a more balanced approach by taking
action on new investments in income security; early childhood development services and
child care; housing; education and a strategy to increase the number of good jobs.

Recommendation #2: Increase the supply of good jobs with better wages and increased
protection from job losses. The government should provide meaningful training and increase
the minimum wage to reflect the actual costs of raising a family. The government should
also ensure that the labour code protects parents from the possibility of being forced to
work 60 hour weeks.

Recommendation #3: Rectify the current lack of income security among families on social
assistance across the province by Restoring Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support
Program benefit levels against the effect of cuts and inflation since 1995.

Recommendation #4: Address anti-poverty and equity policy goals by rescinding the claw
back of the NCBS from social assistance recipients.

Recommendation #5: Fund the Child Care Supplement for Working Families from other
provincial revenues and re-label it as a work income supplement for working families.
Incorporate it with a policy strategy to make work pay through adequate wages. Develop
child care with two policy goals in mind: enabling parents to study/work and providing
children with a good start in life through safe and developmentally enhancing care (i.e.
quality).

Recommendation # 6: Secure better coverage under EI from Ottawa to protect Ontario’s
working families from unemployment and prevent them from having to rely on provincial
welfare.

Recommendation #7: Ontario must develop a multiyear plan with appropriate resources
that reflects the goal of universal access and concretely moves toward expansion of services
to ensure that every child has access to ECEC services. The first step towards this would be
for the Ontario government immediately to restore regulated child care funding to 1995
levels. At the same time, the Ontario government should take leadership with the federal
government and at the national federal/provincial/territorial table urging resumption of an
appropriate federal role and substantial funding for ECEC within a national policy framework.
Recommendation #8: Work with federal government to set targets and provide funding and
incentives to increase the amount of affordable rental housing and supportive housing and
strengthen rent controls and other protections for tenants.

Recommendation #9: Work with the federal government to freeze and lower tuition fees by
increasing investments to colleges and universities and make access to post secondary
education a welfare-to-work option, and provide assistance with child care.

Brief is available in pdf format online at:
http://www.campaign2000.ca/res/

Contact: Pedro Barata - pedroba@fsatoronto.com - tel: 416-595-9230- fax:416-595-0242
Related site: Hansard entry

B.C. Campaign 2000 and First Call - 31 Jan 02


Attack on our poorest and most vulnerable children in B.C.!

Media Release For Immediate Release January 29, 2002

Attack on our poorest and most vulnerable children!

The announcement of the Ministry of Human Resources cuts by the provincial government
on January 17th, 2002, will have huge impacts on the health and well-being of children and
youth in BC. Parents and their children are being hit from changes and cuts in several
ministries. This media release is about those cuts impacting children, youth, and families in
MHR only.

Reductions in the income of families with children

1. Single parent families will be cut $70/month! Approximately 60,000 children will be
impacted. These families are already in deep poverty. How can we justify taking money
from children while pocketing our new tax refunds?
2. Single parents will no longer be able to keep $100/month of Family Maintenance
payments.
3. Earnings exemptions have been eliminated. People used to be allowed to keep up to
$200/month. Now it is clawed back at 100%.
4. Single parents will have to look for work when their youngest child turns 3 instead of 7
years of age. Approximately 15,000 children will be impacted. This in a climate where the
present government eliminated the legislation that was going towards ensuring access to
universal child care.
5. Employable parents, with children older than 3 years, will only receive full benefits for
two years out of five and then see their benefits cut by 11%.
6. Eligibility for the Child Care Subsidy will be reduced to a lower income level. Families
already have difficulty finding affordable child care.

These reductions in income are staggering. The increased use of food banks is a
demonstration of how families are unable to meet their current needs on income assistance.
A two-parent family with 2 young children in BC needs an additional $911 a month just to
get by in today's society. And now this!
The government is making it harder for families and young people to get employment:

1. Parents and older youth who are studying full time to get their Grade 12 in college based
programs will no longer be eligible for income assistance.

Youth are targeted.

1. Youth will have to prove that they have lived independently for two years before they are
eligible for assistance. Youth escaping from abusive family homes need immediate
assistance, training, and employment programs specifically targeted to vulnerable and
multi-barriered youth-at-risk.
2. They will receive assistance for a maximum of two out of every five years.

3. The model of e-business does not take into account youth who may not have access or
skills.

What will happen when a young person can not get a job but does not qualify for welfare?
For the first time in the history of Canada we will have a class of people who will not have a
social safety net. How will they survive? These policies will force increased numbers of
homeless youth on the street.

Refugees are ignored.

Refugee claimants will no longer be eligible for help. Refugees are not allowed to work until
they get authorization, which takes approximately 6 months. How will they survive? What
will happen to their children?

In addition, the Ministry of Human Resources announced reductions in shelter allowances,
tougher appeal provisions and longer, more cumbersome processes that new applicants will
have to go through.

First Call is concerned that if the government implements these changes, the life chances of
thousands of children will be impacted. We call on everyone to contact their MLA and the
Premier to call for a reversal of cuts to services and supports to children, youth, and their
families. Let us remember that when we invest in our children, we build a strong and
healthy society. Children cannot wait for the long term benefits promised by government.
When we deny our children, even the basics of life, we will end up paying dearly socially,
emotionally and economically.

Contact:

Cindy Carson, Provincial Coordinator of First Call
604-875-3629 or Call Toll Free in BC 1-800-307-1212

First Call is a broad cross-sectoral non-partisan coalition of 60 provincial or regional
organizations and over 20 community coalitions around BC. Coalition partners work
together on public education and community initiatives to ensure healthy social, economic,
and policy environments for children and youth.

Contact: Cindy Carson, Provincial Coordinator of First Call - - tel: 604-875-3629 or Call Toll Free in BC 1-800-307-1212

								
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