Editorial: No child deserves to live in poverty in B.C.

Children have no choice over whether they are poor or not.

Whenever we publish anything about income inequality there are always those who argue that those at the bottom of the income gap are somehow deserving of their poorly-paid fate.

They must have, the argument goes, asked for it in some fashion by making poor choices in life.

It’s largely nonsense, of course. But this argument especially disintegrates when one is talking about one particular group living in poverty in B.C.: children.

Children have no choice over whether they are poor or not.

They cannot help their parents to get an education or to get a job. They cannot raise themselves up out of welfare.

Fortunately we don’t live in a Dickensian novel where all those unfortunates could just be shipped out to work in a factory for a few cents, where they might die in the squalid conditions.

But as we reflect on National Child Day, which was celebrated earlier this week, we cannot help but think about how, as a society we are falling down on the job when it comes to offering kids a bright future.

Because how much money a family has (whether it is adequate to cover basic needs such as shelter, clothing and food) has a huge impact on the probable future a child has.

The 2017 BC Child Poverty Report Card was released by First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition Tuesday and the numbers were stark. In this province the child poverty rate is 18.3 per cent — that’s 153,300 children. That is unacceptable in any society, let alone one of the wealthiest nations on earth.

Unsurprisingly, children who are recent immigrants, off-reserve Aboriginal children, visible minorities, and those in single-parent (largely single mom) households are the worst off.

It’s all predictable. And fixable. A guaranteed basic income is a good place to start, along with affordable childcare. We just need the will.

Just Posted

North Cowichan councillor’s proposal for regional control of forests gets nod at UBCM

Recommendation from North Cowichan councillor Rob Douglas now goes to province

Drivesmart column: Driving with obstructed vision

Fully 80 per cent of the information that we need to drive safely comes through our eyes.

Marked improvement for women’s rugby squad

Gudmundseth scores four as Cowichan edged by Westshore

Robert Barron column: Cell phone rules in cars are clear as mud

She was not actively using her cell at the time

Andrea Rondeau column: Flood of letters to the editor

Some newspapers struggle to get people to send in letters to the editor.

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Most Read