BRITISH COLUMBIA

B.C. Child Poverty Worst In Canada, Tied With Manitoba

07/08/2013 07:25 EDT | Updated 09/07/2013 05:12 EDT
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VICTORIA - B.C.'s Opposition New Democrats are demanding a promise from the Liberal government that it won't cut social programs with the release of a report that says B.C. has one of the highest child-poverty rates in Canada.

B.C.'s child and youth advocacy coalition First Call says newly released Statistics Canada numbers reveal B.C.'s child-poverty rate rose to 11.3 per cent in 2011, up from 10.5 per cent in 2010.

First call says the figures show that B.C. has had the worst child-poverty rate in Canada for nine out of the past 10 years among the provinces, with B.C. rising above last place only once in 2010.

Children's Minister Stephanie Cadieux says the government believes creating jobs reduces poverty, but it's committed to ensuring vulnerable families — including their children — are protected by the government.

Clark announced a core review of all government programs after the May election that aims to reduce government spending by $100 million over two years.

New Democrat Shane Simpson says B.C.'s poor families need more assurances that they won't be hurt by government cuts than vague rhetoric about protecting the vulnerable from cost reductions.

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