Bad News About Child Poverty In NS

First, the good news:

The Statistics Canada graph appeared in a Bloomberg story that attributed the reduction in child poverty directly to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s child benefit program, which was worth $25 billion to Canadian families in 2017 up from $19 billion in 2015.

Statistics Canada itself says:

In 2017, 622,000 children under 18 years of age, or 9.0%, lived below the poverty line, down from 11.0% (755,000 children) in 2016. The child poverty rate, according to the [Market Basket Measure], has declined fairly steadily since reaching its most recent peak of 15.0% (1.0 million children) in 2012.

Measured by the Low Income Measure (LIM), which considers that “individuals live in low income if their household after-tax income falls below half of the median after-tax income, adjusting for household size,” child poverty nationwide was down 1.9 percentage points from 2016 at 12.1% in 2017.

Now the bad news.


Distinct society?

A second graph, again sourced from Stats Canada and shared on Twitter by Dartmouth South NDP MLA Claudia Chender, shows Nova Scotia is the only province in the country that actually saw child poverty increase between 2015 and 2017:

I went to Stats Canada myself for a better look at the Nova Scotia numbers and they are truly grim:


Whereas the national rate of child poverty has declined from 9% to 11%, the rate in Nova Scotia has increased from 14% to 17%.

Measured by LIM, child poverty in Nova Scotia has increased from 18.1% in 2016 to 19.3% in 2017.

Think about this: during the same two-year period, child poverty in PEI (although the data is rated “E” for “use with caution”) has fallen from 15.4% (MBM) in 2016 to 9.1% in 2017. (The LIM measure shows a drop from 19.8% to 12.1% over the same period).

Alberta HALVED its child poverty rates between 2015 and 2017.

What is wrong with this picture?

Hey, while we’ve got you here, can we just say thanks for reading the Spectator? We’re always glad to see you.

That said, if you wanted to make us dance a (virtual) jig of joy, please consider subscribing. You can find out more about what we’re all about here, before cruising on over to the Subscriptions Page, where you can choose from a fine selection of possibilities — including a joint subscription with the Halifax Examiner. And right now, if you take out a regular, annual subscription to the Spectator ($100) or a joint annual Spectator/Examiner subscription ($160), you’ll get a free gift — yes, you read that correctly, the Spectator’s got swag!

Prefer to monitor the situation awhile longer? Not quite ready to commit? Why not sign up for our weekly newsletter to find out what’s been newly released from behind the paywall (and give us a chance to win you over)?

Thanks for listening! We now return you to your regularly scheduled web browsing…