Well, I never thought I’d see this rebuke of Canada and BC in The Economist Magazine of all places. But the current issue of the conservative magazine singles out BC for its high rate of child poverty. You can find it here.
The piece highlights cuts to welfare, and notes, “One of the keenest slashers was British Columbia, which despite being one of the richest provinces has one of the highest rates of child poverty (10.4%) after taxes on family income.”
Half a dozen provincial governments, including those of populous Ontario and Quebec, have launched poverty-reduction programmes; many include attempts to prod or help people back into work. Newfoundland, helped by royalties from oil and mining, has cut its poverty rate in half (to 6.5%). Earlier this month, a House of Commons committee urged the federal government to adopt a national strategy. The response of Stephen Harper’s Conservative administration was that the best long-term strategy to fight poverty is “the sustained employment of Canadians”. That is certainly a necessary condition, but is it sufficient? Both the government and its critics might ponder why it is that growth seems to bypass so many.