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February 12, 2024

Canada saw a sharp upswing in national child poverty rates one year after historic poverty reduction was achieved in 2020,  according to the 2023 national poverty update from Campaign 2000, a non-partisan coalition of 120 groups and individuals co-ordinated by Family Service Toronto.

The report, titled Unprecedented Progress on Poverty Reduction Being Undone, states more than one million children lived in poverty as pandemic benefits wound down and the cost of living rose in 2021.

“Accelerated efforts are required for Canada to meet its human rights obligations to end poverty,” states the report which includes 30 recommendations addressing inequality, income security, housing, child care, decent work and healthcare.

Using the latest available tax filer data from 2021, the report notes the child poverty rate rose to 15.6%, up from 13.5% in 2020 (using the Census Family Low Income Measure, After Tax). That represents 163,550 more children living with the short- and long-term physical, mental, emotional, economic and social harms of poverty.

Rates of child poverty increased in every province and territory from 2020 to 2021, according to the report. Disproportionately higher rates were seen for people marginalized by colonization, racism and systemic discrimination, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and racialized and migrant children.

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