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Child poverty rate in Nova Scotia sees biggest spike in 30 years

By Caitlin Snow Jan 31, 2024 | 12:30 PM

The child poverty rate in Nova Scotia has seen the biggest increase in one year, since 1989, according to the 2023 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Nova Scotia which was released by The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

In one year, the child poverty rate in the province, increased by 11.4 per cent up to 20.5 per cent in 2021, from 18.4 per cent, in 2020.

That means there are 35,330 children living in poverty in our province: the highest in Atlantic Canada and fourth highest in the country.

Dr. Christine Saulnier, co-author of the report and Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives says the report is a roadmap for ending child poverty by 2026 and urges the government to use it.

“The urgency to support children is to mitigate the long-term effects on their development, because the longer they live in poverty, the worse for their well-being.”

Dr. Lesley Frank, co-Author and Tier II Canada Research Chair in Food, Health, and Social Justice at Acadia University says last year’s report card recorded the largest single-year reduction in child poverty, due to COVID-19 benefits.

This year, however, there was the largest single-year increase.

Frank says, “What did we lean? That child poverty can be tackled, but our elected officials have chosen not to persist.”