Editorial: Child poverty

The Windermere Teachers' Association has brought an important cause to the public's attention.

The Windermere Teachers’ Association has brought an important cause to the public’s attention. Child poverty, however, is something of a misnomer. It’s not the children who are poor; it’s the parents. For the most part, children don’t get to choose what kind of environment they’re raised in. Undoubtedly if they could, a family plagued by under-employment or lack thereof, financial stress as a result, and any related addictions would likely be the first option crossed off the list. The reality is that many children, even in our own community, are the victims of exactly these types of circumstances, and B.C.’s provincial government has fallen behind the rest of the country in offering them a way out.

Who better to challenge the government in this regard than the British Columbia Teachers’ Association (BCTF). Now that the union has secured contracts for its teachers, it’s addressing an issue that’s been slowly improving over the years, but a tangible solution has yet to be identified and the end goal of eradicating this problem is still a long way off.

According to the First Call BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition’s 2012 Child Poverty Report Card, the child poverty rate in B.C. dropped from 16.3 percent in 2009 to 14.3 percent in 2010, using Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-Offs (LICOs) before tax as a measure of poverty, which measures income thresholds. However, the B.C. rate was still the second worst of any province, behind the rate of 17.6 percent in Manitoba.

Time will tell if the jump in B.C.’s minimum wage from $8 per hour to $10.25 last May after a decade-long freeze will make an even greater difference. Instead of having the lowest minimum wage in the country, British Columbians at the bottom of the pay scale can now anticipate an additional $4,000 annually, with an hourly wage rate on par with or even higher than most other Canadian provinces.

A provincial strategy aimed at reducing child poverty would have to include an educational component, such as teaching sound fiscal management in the school system from the beginning, rooting mathematics in practical applications and requiring high school students to graduate with a thorough understanding of taxes, credit, savings and loans, as well as mental health issues.

The BCTF is wasting time requesting a vague commmunity-based provincial strategy; the solution lies within the school system itself — in a revamped curriculum that directly addresses all socio-economic problems head on.

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read