Sask. receives failing grade on child poverty, according to U of R professor

Saskatchewan’s child poverty rate continues to be one of the highest in the country, according to a new report.

The report, done by University of Regina professor Dr. Miguel Sanchez, shows the rate of child poverty in the province is well above the national average.

Sanchez says over the last ten years, the child poverty rate in the province has fluctuated between 25 and 30 percent.

“That is extremely high and is unacceptable for a province as wealthy as Saskatchewan, and for a country as wealthy as Canada,” said Sanchez.

The province’s highest poverty rates are children living with one parent, with higher poverty rates in Indigenous, and immigrant families.

Sanchez believes these numbers are a direct result of how these groups are seen in society.

“It’s sad to say, but it seems that the children of these populations are particularly disposable in the current socioeconomic that Saskatchewan holds,” said Sanchez.

Child poverty rates started being monitored in 1989 as part of Campaign 2000, a campaign aimed at eliminating child poverty by the millennium.

Sanchez says over three decades later, the political will to eliminate poverty seems to be very minimal, adding government transfers could go a long way.

“The political will is not there, successive governments have not done what needs to be done,” said Sanchez. “We see that government transfers continue to be at a very low level, should government transfers be increased, you will see, immediately, a reduction in child poverty.”

He says he hopes this report causes people to reflect on what kind of society they want to live in. He adds for a society that claims to value children, these numbers speak louder than words.

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