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Children can’t wait another 25 years for action

By NDP Murray Rankin      

The Conservative government’s rhetoric on supporting children in their early years is not being matched by policies that are proven to do that. A comprehensive policy framework is needed at the federal level to ensure a strong and stable start in life for all children, one that deals with family income security, childhood development and other social determinants of health such as housing.

UNICEF’s Report Card 12, Children of the Recession, is a timely and powerful reminder of how social and economic inequities shape the health and well-being of our citizens. Their latest report card on child well-being explores how Canadian children fared during the recent economic recession. This comes at a time when Parliament has recommitted itself to eradicating child poverty in Canada. The first pledge was made in 1989 when Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution presented by NDP leader Ed Broadbent to end child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. Tragically, in the year 2015, with the repeated failure to take meaningful action by subsequent federal governments, the problem has not gotten better. Nearly one in five Canadian children now live in poverty. Canadian families are still coping with the effects of the economic recession.

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