Current Poverty Situations in Canada and its Contributing Factors
One might not think the population of a wealthy country like Canada struggles with poverty, however, an astonishing number of Canadians are suffering. 1 in 7 people in Canada live in poverty (Poverty, 2017). The Canadian Teacher’s Federation states that the current rates of child poverty remain the same as in 1989 (Poverty, 2019). There are many factors that contribute to or cause an increase in poverty rates in Canada. The following are major factors in poverty growth: income inequality based on gender (citizenUltraining, 2011), unaffordable housing (Just, 2019), and inability to obtain secondary school diploma or higher education (Sekharan, 2015). More details and possible solutions will be explored later in this report.
Research conducted in 2017 by Citizens for Public Justice revealed that 4.8 million people (13.9 % of the Canadian population) live in poverty. Further research shows that the most impacted are children of single-parent families. In fact, 43.4 % of Canadians living in poverty are part of single parent led families, and 80 % of these households are headed by female single parents (Poverty, 2017). About 1.5 million Canadians live in housing that is unaffordable, overcrowded, and does not meet the standard quality of living (citizenUltraining, 2011). Additionally, the current education system is not inclusive and provides insufficient support for children of low-income families to receive the quality education they need (Poverty, 2019).
C. Current Situation
· Gender Income Gap- Statistics Canada states that in 2017 women earned $ 0.87 for every $ 1.00 earned by men (Coxon, 2019). This gender pay gap has a negative impact on female-led single-parent families. Statistics in Chart 1 show that the gender income gap in Canada stands at 19 % as of 2010. For more information see Infograph 1.
Chart 1. [Untitled illustration of gender income gap in Canada and other countries, n.d.].
· Housing- One of the biggest contributing factors causing poverty in Canada is the lack of affordable housing. Many young families with low-incomes who have children are forced to spend most of their money on housing, which does not leave enough money to spend on food and health. Infograph 1 (see appendix) shows that families who use foodbanks spend 77% of their income on housing (Sekharan, 2015).
· Education- Canadian Teacher’s Federation research states that children of low-income families experience less motivation to learn, lower achievement, lower career aspirations and higher drop-out rates (Poverty, 2019) all of which ultimately repeats cycle of poverty.
The following recommendations are based on collected information and personal knowledge gained through life experiences.
· Increase mini...