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North Vancouver Island has higher rate of child poverty than B.C. average: Report

Posted on: December 2, 2021

On average, there are more children on Vancouver Island living in poverty than other parts of British Columbia, according to a recent report by the First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society.

The report, released Wednesday, found that as many as 1 in 3 children living on the north end of Vancouver Island are living in poverty.

The findings come from the 2021 BC Child Poverty Report Card which uses data from 2019.

Across the province, an average of 1 in 5 children live below the poverty line, according to the report.

The overall rate of 18.4 percent means British Columbia places eighth overall in the country.

First Call executive director Adrienne Montani says this is an improvement, as B.C. used to have the highest rates in Canada.

“The report shows the power of government policy and what it’s done already,” said Montani. “(Roughly) 93,000 children would have been in poverty if it weren’t for some of the government’s income transfers.”

She says the Canada Child Benefit payments are making a big difference, and the B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit is helpful as well. But, more work is still needed to alleviate the stress of living in poverty for all children in the province.

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