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Child poverty is a regrettable and painful reality in British Columbia and every other province in Canada. The poverty rates in BC have moved up and down over the years, but we have been unable as a society to break the bonds of poverty for significant numbers of children and their parents.

Children remain poor because their parents remain poor. That may sound like stating the obvious, but it underlines a fundamental paradox in the fight against child poverty. We all say we value children and want to give children the best possible start in life, yet we ignore the needs of parents who are struggling to do their best amid the many demands of parenting in today's busy world.

Campaign 2000 Child Poverty Report Cards

Every November through our partnership with Campaign 2000, First Call releases a series of report cards profiling child poverty in BC.

2012 BC Report Card
2011 BC Report Card
2010 BC Report Card
2009 BC Report Card
2008 BC Report Card
2007 BC Report Card
2006 BC Report Card
2005 BC Report Card

Campaign 2000 Child Poverty Report Cards

Every November through our partnership with Campaign 2000, First Call releases a series of report cards profiling child poverty in BC.


UBC Law School Talk: Child and Family Poverty and Public Policy: A Women’s Issue? 
In early October 2013, First Call's Adrienne Montani spoke at the UBC Faculty of Law, Centre for Feminist Legal Studies lecture series in front of an attentive crowd of students and faculty. The CFLS lecture series provides an opportunity to hear about the work of different people and to discuss how the law works, especially as it affects women’s rights. Watch her talk here

BC's Regional Poverty Reduction Strategies - 7 Communities Report (Aug 2012)

Summary of and commentary on Community Poverty Reduction Strategies in BC (2012)

The Cost of Poverty in BC (2011)
This report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives examines the costs of the lack of action on poverty reduction. Check out the short video, too!

Working for a Living Wage 2011
This summary report updates the 2008 living wage calculation for Metro Vancouver. To find out more about the Living Wage for Families Campaign, visit www.livingwageforfamilies.ca.

Campaign 2000 National Child Poverty Report Card (2011)

News Release: BC Child Poverty Rate Rises Again (Nov 2011)

20 Questions for BC Politicians on Eliminating Poverty

Refugee transportation loans campaign and responses from BC Members of Parliament (June 2010)
Sample letter to send to your MP.
From 2009: Letter to BC Members of Parliament on refugee transportation loans.
Backgrounder and sample letter: Campaign to repeal refugee transporation loan requirement.
Find out more from the Canadian Council for Refugees.

New Westminster has become the first living wage municipality in Canada! (May 2010)
Find out more at www.livingwageforfamilies.ca.

First Call signed on in support of Dignity for All, the campaign for a poverty free Canada (Nov 2009)
Find out more at www.dignityforall.ca.

First Call Letter to the Premier about the August 2009 Council of the Federation and the issue of child and family poverty (July 2009)

Correspondence with Minister of Social Housing and Development (July 2009)
Ongoing correspondence with the Minister of Housing and Social Development on the minimum wage and the living wage can be found here - scroll down to correspondence.

Students Are Not to Blame: Understanding the Structural Causes of Family Poverty (2009)
Report from the BC Teachers' Federation on Poverty and Education.

BC's Child Poverty Rate Still Worst in Canada for Fifth Consecutive Year (May 5, 2008)

The Time is Now: A Poverty Reduction Plan for BC (2008)
Report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

It Takes a Nation to Raise a Generation (2008)
PowerPoint presentation on First Call featuring child poverty data.

Brief to the Senate on Urban Child Poverty (2008)
In February 2008, First Call Chair Michael Goldberg presentated to the Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on the topic of urban child poverty.  This briefing is an overview of topics including measuring poverty; child poverty rates; and the interaction between market income, social security benefits, taxation and statutory deductions, and income tested social programs.

Leveling the Playing Field for Children: A Community Action Toolkit (2007)
This Community Action Toolkit provides information and resources on how to level the economic playing field for children and youth, including advocacy work around issues such as early learning and child care, child benefits, affordable housing, and parental leave. Open the bookmarks function to use the index of hyperlinks when navigating the document (in Adobe go to View>Navigation Panels>Bookmarks).

The factsheets from this toolkit are also available in Spanish and Vietnamese.

Summoned to Stewardship: Make Poverty Reduction a Collective Legacy (2007)
This report from Campaign 2000 addresses child poverty and indicates that all political parties should commit to a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy.

Raising the Falling Fortunes of Young Families with Children (2007)
This report from Campaign 2000 argues that young families should have a living wage - a just wage that keeps workers and their families out of poverty.

Child and Youth Development and Income Inequality: A Review of Selected Literature (2007)
As part of our Leveling the Playing Field Project we have compiled a review of the relationship between income poverty, inequality and child outcomes in Canada, with a particular focus on studies completed since 1998.

A Review of Policy Options for Increasing Food Security & Income Security in British Columbia (2007)
This report by Steve Kerstetter and Michael Goldberg includes direct and indirect measures of food insecurity in BC and an analysis of the impact of various policy options on seven family types which are most likely to face food insecurity.

The Cost of Eating in BC (2007)

Each year First Call coalition partner the Dietitians of Canada, BC region release a report to demonstrate that some groups within our population are denied the right to safe and nutritious food due to limited financial resources. Individuals and families receiving income assistance and those working in low paying jobs are at high risk for food insecurity.

Child Poverty Public Service Announcement (2006)

Child Poverty Status Report (2006)
This report is the most detailed report on child and family poverty in British Columbia ever published by First Call. It includes not only province-wide data on poverty, but also data for 25 of the larger population centres in all regions of the province.

Economic Security Project Research on Economic Equality (2006)
First Call is a partner in the Economic Security Project, a join initiative of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Simon Fraser University. The document provides an overview of the findings from the Economic Security Project that focus on public policy affecting the economic equality of children and families in BC.

Jean Swanson Speaks about Making Poverty History (2005)
At a public forum on April 28th organized by the Make Poverty History campaign, Jean Swanson of the Carnegie Community Action Project and the Raise the Rates Coalition gave a thought-provoking speech on government decisions and how they impact poverty and homelessness.

A Bad Time to be Poor: An Analysis of British Columbia’s New Welfare Policies (2003)
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives warns that the province’s new welfare rules will create unacceptable hardship and upheaval in communities across BC.

Everyone Counts Campaign - Welfare
Everyone Counts is a public awareness campaign and poster series launched in 2004.  The general theme of all the posters is “everyone counts,” a not-so-subtle reminder that democratically elected governments are supposed to serve all their constituents – not just a chosen few.
Welfare backgrounder and press release