Letter to the Editor: Child poverty in Rupert

Families are losing their children to the child welfare system because they can’t afford the basic necessities

Re: Prince Rupert second-worst in B.C. for child poverty, December 14, 2016

Editor:

I was saddened, but not surprised, to read this article.

With skyrocketing BC Hydro rates and the squeeze on rental housing, lower income families in Prince Rupert are often faced with making the difficult choice between paying the hydro bill or paying rent.

If they get behind with their rent because they chose to pay the hydro bill, these families can then be faced with eviction. If families get behind with BC Hydro, they face enormous security deposits that are impossible for most people, let alone low income families, to afford.

Besides the obvious ramifications of not having any heat like being cold and having mold growth in homes, families are losing their children to the child welfare system because they can’t afford the basic necessities. To the families I know in Prince Rupert facing this, it feels like punishment for being poor.

Child poverty is a problem for all of B.C., and the fact that the child poverty rate for Prince Rupert is at 30 per cent breaks my heart, especially since Christy Clark’s government is ignoring solutions to this.

Every province in the country except B.C. has a poverty reduction plan. That’s why my colleague, Michelle Mungall, has repeatedly introduced legislation that would create such a plan. Unfortunately, Christy Clark’s government has blocked it every time, and we continue to see unacceptably high rates of child poverty all across our province.

This holiday season, please give generously to our local food banks and charities that help to alleviate poverty. And please remember so much more can be done if only we had a willing government.

Jennifer Rice, MLA for the North Coast and

Deputy Opposition Spokesperson for Children & Family Development

 

Just Posted

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

Northwest local governments team up to fill in future employment gaps

Around 17,000 jobs will need to be filled in the region over the next eight years

Poetry month sees launch of “Oona River Poems” at Rupert library

Peter Christensen consciously and lovingly documents our physical and psychological landscapes

Lily Swanson celebrates her 90th birthday in Prince Rupert

The Acropolis Manor resident has 22 grandchildren and is a great grandmother to 25 children

Tenacious seven Rupert runners in Seattle

Jamie Komadina places 9th overall in her category at the Oiselle Tenacious Ten race on April 21

Prince Rupert students share portraits of kindness with children in Peru

The Memory Project gives teens a chance to sharpen their art skills and global awareness

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Haida youth travels to New York for UN forum on Indigenous issues

Haana Edensaw presented her speech in Xaad Kil, Masset dialect of the Haida language

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

Judge rejects hunter’s bid to get back a sheep shot in northern B.C.

Despite expert testimony, judgement says ram probably underage

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Most Read