Creston Valley Advance
Re: "In Your Corner: Plan needed to reduce child poverty in B.C." - Sep. 15, 2013
No government wants to see any child living in poverty and, while there is justification for calling attention to it, some important facts should be noted.
In the past 10 years, B.C.'s child poverty rate has dropped by 41 per cent to one of the lowest points in three decades, which means about 69,000 children have been lifted out of poverty. We know the only real way to lift people out of poverty is to ensure they have a job and the skills they need to succeed. Our government's BC Jobs Plan is building a foundation that is strengthening the economy, creating an atmosphere for investment and creating jobs in every region of B.C.
At the same time, we're also providing targeted supports to low-income families. For example, we're introducing the BC Early Years Strategy to make child care more affordable and accessible for families. More than 98,000 households currently benefit from social housing; in fact this government has invested $3.6 billion to provide affordable housing around the province. We've also raised the minimum wage to among the highest in Canada. And, British Columbians benefit from having one of the lowest overall tax burdens in the country, with over a million low-income residents paying no income tax.
This year, we are supplying school districts with more than $51 million in CommunityLINK funding (for breakfast and lunch programs), and an additional $11.2 million in vulnerable student supplement funding, aimed at improving academic achievement and social functioning. Almost $575,000 of this funding is directed to the Kootenay Lake School District.
We will continue working to support vulnerable families so their children have the best chance of success as they enter school.
Minister of Children and Family Development