NDP MP continues fight to eliminate child poverty

With one in five Canadian children now living poverty, the time to act on this crisis is long overdue. Yesterday in the House of Commons, NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan’s (Scarborough—Rouge River) private member’s motion M-534 on eliminating child poverty was up for its first hour of debate. While the status of support for this motion remains unclear, the pressing need for urgent action remains constant.

“Children are Canada’s future, yet far too many are forced to live in poverty,” said Sitsabaiesan. “Successive governments have ignored consultations, refused to listen to experts and allowed reports to gather dust. It is this willing neglect and refusal to take responsibility that has exacerbated this crisis.”

In 1989, Parliament unanimously supported former NDP Leader Ed Broadbent’s motion to end child poverty. At the time, Canada’s child poverty rate sat at 13 percent. Since then, the rate of child poverty in Canada has soared and sits at 21 percent.

“We know the solutions; more affordable housing, better access to affordable child care, improved nutritional standards and economic security for all Canadian families. Investing in our children’s well-being is investing in the well-being of our country,” stated Sitsabaiesan. “We owe Canadian children their right to dignity and protection from the cruelties exposed by poverty. The time to act is long overdue.”