Seventeen years after the House unanimously passed a resolution to end child poverty by the year 2000, a new report says child poverty levels in Halifax are some of the highest in Canada.
In the report, produced by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)’s Nova Scotia Office and released on Wednesday, Halifax had the seventh highest rate of child poverty among Canada’s 25 largest cities.
It’s a slight improvement from 2014 when Halifax was ranked as having the third highest rate of child poverty in Canada.
Windsor, Ont. took the top spot in the 2017 CCPA analysis.
According to the review, 13,690 children (one in five) were living in poverty in Halifax in 2015, the year with the most recent available data.
According to Katherine Ryan, an economic analyst and co-author of the report said the figures are indicative of a need to find solutions at the community or neighbourhood level.
“(Halifax) includes more than 40 per cent of the province’s population, covers a geographic area larger than P.E.I. and has over 200 distinct communities,” said Ryan.
The report indicates that poverty levels in some areas of the HRM could be as high as 40 per cent.
WATCH: Nova Scotia had third-highest rate of child poverty in 2014
Provincewide poverty levels
The CCPA’s analysis found that poverty in municipalities across the province indicates a “quite significant” range.
Fall River, part of the HRM, was found to have the lowest rate of poverty (3.9 per cent) in the province compared to Eskasoni, which had the highest (72.7 per cent).
Critical to consider racial and gender inequities
The report also found that minority groups in the municipality are disproportionately affected by poverty.
Rates for visible minority children (37.8 per cent) are nearly three times the rate for non-visible minorities (14.4 per cent).
With information being taken from the Statistics Canada 2016 Census, the report highlights that the minority category does include Syrian refugees who arrived in Nova Scotia up to May of 2016 and that this may account for the higher rate of poverty found in Arab children when compared to Canada as a whole.
According to the report, Indigenous children who live off-reserve experienced poverty at a rate of 22.1 per cent.