REPORT LAUNCH EVENT:
Tuesday, February 14, 2023, 10am
Freight House, Door 4, Boys and Girls Club, 200 Isabel St, Winnipeg
POVERTY, THE PANDEMIC AND THE PROVINCE: MANITOBA CHILD AND FAMILY POVERTY, FEBRUARY 2023
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – New data show Manitoba maintains the worst record of child and family poverty among all provinces. Report by Campaign 2000 – Manitoba outlines the state of child and family poverty in this province, including analysis of the impacts of federal and provincial income supports on the health and well-being of children in Manitoba during the pandemic.
“Targeted supports directed to the families most in need are what will protect households and the economy from the rising cost of living. Governments have the capacity to end child and family poverty. They simply need the political will to do so.” Josh Brandon, Social Planning Council of Winnipeg
The report provides an analysis of the $87 million August 2022 Family Affordability Package. It concludes that the provincial efforts only minimally reduced child and family poverty, potentially lowering the number of children in poverty by as little as 2.6% due to having a very high income test at $175,000. Had the Affordability package been targeted to low-income families instead, the impact of the same package could have reduced child poverty by almost 10%. Meanwhile, an Education Property Tax Rebate delivered in 2022 could have reduced child poverty by 86%.
Based on the most recent tax filer data from 2020, the report finds that more than one in five children (20.68%) were in poverty in Manitoba, the highest rate of any province. While the 2020 data showed a decline from previous reports, the report finds that this improvement was largely due to temporary benefits which were put in place during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite improvement, 64,670 children remained in poverty in 2020 facing poorer health and educational outcomes. In Manitoba, low income is linked to several negative child health outcomes including increased risk of preterm birth, child mortality, dental extraction and suicide. The report also finds that childhood poverty can more than double the risk of developmental vulnerability among children entering kindergarten.
“Child and family poverty is a big and serious problem in Manitoba. It affects more than one in five children and the average poor family is in deep poverty – $13,000 to $15,000 below the poverty line, depending on family structure. It’s serious because Manitoba data show that poverty damages the health, mental health and education outcomes of our children. How long will Manitobans tolerate this?” Sid Frankel, Campaign 2000 National Steering Committee
“Access to high quality early learning and child care provides supports positive trajectories for Manitoban children. Adequate, consistent and increased investment into early learning and child care is key to decreasing poverty rates.” Jodie Kehl, Manitoba Child Care Association Inc.
“Decades of research and community based-solutions demonstrate that progressive public policy can bring down and ultimately end child poverty. When will the Manitoba government finally act?” Molly McCracken, Manitoba CCPA and MPHM Provincial Chair
‘We’ve have been releasing these reports on an annual basis for far too long. Each year, the ‘news’ is that there is nothing really new. Governments continue their piecemeal approach, offer pennies when dollars are needed because they are spending those dollars on the consequences of poverty rather than on just ending it. This year could be a turning point. Our analysis demonstrates the money is there. We have a provincial election in 2023 so time for all parties to tell us their plan to end poverty, and if they don’t have one, why not?” Kate Kehler, Social Planning Council of Winnipeg
Media Contact for all Speakers: Kate Kehler, 204-590-8932, email@example.com
Speakers will be report authors and some lived experience voices.
To receive a copy of the report please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
Campaign 2000 is a national coalition that monitors progress and setbacks to end child and family poverty in Canada. It was initially formed to hold the federal government to its 1989 unanimous motion in the House of Commons to end child poverty by the year 2000.