09/21/2011 09:43 EDT | Updated 11/21/2011 05:12 EST

Winnipeg agency says poverty rates similar to those of two decades ago

WINNIPEG - A social agency in Manitoba is urging the federal and provincial governments and the public to respond to the needs of children in the province who live in poverty.

The Social Planning Council of Winnipeg says current child and family poverty rates are similar to those that existed 22 years ago when Parliament unanimously resolved to end child poverty by the year 2000.

The council says one out of every two people in First Nations communities grows up in poverty.

Figures from Statistics Canada indicate poverty affects the lives of nearly one in three Manitoba children.

Council board member Sid Frankel says politicians must demonstrate a commitment to eradicate poverty.

The council was to release a report card Wednesday on child and family poverty in Manitoba. (CJOB)