Child poverty in the rid­ing of SD&SG at nearly 20 per­cent

Seaway News - - News - NICK SEE­BRUCH ni­cholas.see­bruch@tc.tc PROVIDED BY ST. LAWRENCE FHO

STOR­MONT, DUN­DAS & SOUTH GLEN­GARRY, On­tario - Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study re­leased by Cam­paign 2000, Child Poverty in the fed­eral rid­ing of Stor­mont, Dun­das and South Glen­garry is at 19.9 per­cent. To put it another way, one-in­five chil­dren in the rid­ing live in poverty.

Cam­paign 2000 claims that child poverty is more preva­lent in in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties, im­mi­grant com­mu­ni­ties and in lone-par­ent fam­i­lies.

Stor­mont, Dun­das and South Glen­garry Con­ser­va­tive MP Guy Lau­zon points to credit pro­grams his party cre­ated while in govern­ment.

“Our pre­vi­ous Govern­ment took the is­sue of child poverty very se­ri­ously and worked to es­tab­lish pro­grams that would ben­e­fit fam­i­lies across the coun­try by mak­ing life more af­ford­able for them,” said Guy Lau­zon in an emailed state­ment to Corn­wall Se­away News. “The en­hance­ments we made with the Univer­sal Child Care Ben­e­fit, the rais­ing of the ba­sic in­come level one could earn be­fore pay­ing in­come tax by about $1,500, re­mov­ing a mil­lion low-in­come Cana­di­ans from the tax rolls al­to­gether, were just two small ex­am­ples of con­crete ac­tion that di­rectly ben­e­fit­ted low in­come Cana­di­ans and by de­fault helped to raise chil­dren out of poverty.”

So­cial De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil (SDC) Executive Di­rec­tor Car­i­lyne Hébert said that she was not sur­prised at the num­ber.

“A lot of the clien­tele that are us­ing food banks are chil­dren,” said Hébert, her­self a for­mer em­ployee of the Agapè Cen­tre, which op­er­ates a food bank in Corn­wall.

Hébert ex­plained that in the sum­mer months, school meal pro­grams that usu­ally sup­port kids are un­avail­able, forc­ing them to try and find those meals else­where.

Hébert ex­plained that the SDC was work­ing on a new project to tackle ma­jor com­mu­nity is­sues like child poverty.

The Vi­brant Com­mu­ni­ties Roundtable project will call on re­sources from Corn­wall, the United Coun­ties of SD&G and Ak­we­sasne to ad­dress ma­jor so­cial is­sues. Cur­rently the or­ga­ni­za­tion is gath­er­ing data for the project to help iden­tify ar­eas that most ur­gently need to be ad­dressed.

Ac­cord­ing to the Cam­paign 2000 re­port, there are 3,970 chil­dren liv­ing in poverty in the rid­ing of Stor­mont, Dun­das and South Glen­garry.

In 1989 the Cana­dian govern­ment pledged to erad­i­cate child poverty by the year 2000. Cam­paign 2000 formed in 1991 out of con­cern over the lack of progress in the fight against child poverty. Cam­paign 2000 con­tin­ues to do re­search and raise aware­ness around this is­sue.

Com­plete de­tails about these events can be found on the Com­mu­nity Cal­en­dar page at

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