Researchers at the University of Regina (U of R) released the 2021 Saskatchewan Child and Poverty Report Card, revealing Saskatchewan’s child poverty rate, which peaked in 2004, is well above the Canadian average.
Dr. Miguel Sánchez, Associate Professor at the University of Regina in the Faculty of Social Work, is the author of the report card. They say insufficient funds are being provided to families and children, worsening the poverty level.
“Inadequate government transfers and low wages in the labor market make this unacceptable level of child poverty possible for Saskatchewan,” Dr. Sanchez said.
The UKR professor said Saskatchewan is one of two Canadian provinces that have maintained poverty rates at this level for the past 10 years.
According to the report card, Saskatchewan has a child poverty rate of 26.1 percent, higher than all other provinces and territories except Manitoba and Nunavut, and well above the national child poverty rate of 17.7 percent.
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“If we continue to go to the same policy election, we will continue to see an increase in child poverty,” he says.
Dr. Sanchez says that poverty has a lifelong effect on the child. According to Dr. Sanchez, the northern part of the province experiences higher rates of poverty in the province. He says that changes need to be made at the legislative level to bring down the rates.
“Government transfer program can lift all income to the extent of poverty level,” he said. “It can be calculated through the tax system.”
The complete report card can be viewed and downloaded from the U of R website under the Center for Social Work Research.