KJIPUKTUK/HALIFAX – Educators for Social Justice – Nova Scotia is calling for Nova Scotia’s political parties to lay out their plans for eliminating child poverty during the current election period. As education workers, we see the effects of child poverty every day. Giving children the things they need to thrive early in life is an investment.
1 in 5 children across this province live in poverty. This figure is 1 in 3 in Cape Breton, and 1 in 4 in the Kentville area.
“Every year the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Nova Scotia releases a child and family poverty report card, complete with specific recommendations for reducing and eliminating child poverty” says Angela Wyllie, an elementary teacher in the Annapolis Valley. “It makes headlines for a few days and then is mostly forgotten.”
Wyllie added, “Teachers work closely with these kids. We want them to thrive in school and beyond, which they can’t do if they’re dealing with the physical and emotional stresses associated with poverty.’
The CCPA-NS 2020 report included recommendations such as the creation of a Child and Youth Advocacy Office, raising the minimum wage, and funding and building a high-quality early learning and childcare system that is child-centred, play-based, seamless (all day, full year), affordable and accessible.
“Governments have been promising to address child poverty for over 30 years. In 2015, I travelled with students to Ottawa as part of a project to remind politicians about the commitment that was made in 1989 to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000. It’s now 2021 and the problem is getting worse, not better,” said Diane Lewis, a high school teacher in Cape Breton.
“We know what the solutions are to this problem,” says Dr. Lesley Frank, Tier II Canada Research Chair in Food, Health, and Social Justice at Acadia University and co-author of the CCPA-NS report. “We need to see that those running to govern the province have the will to implement them.”
ESJ-NS is hosting a Zoom press conference this morning at 9:30 a.m. with further information. Details to join are below. As well, ESJ-NS is encouraging educators to ask provincial candidates on their party’s plan to implement the CCPA-NS’s recommendations to reduce and eliminate child poverty. To see short versions of these 11 recommendations see esjns.com.
To arrange an interview please contact Cole Wild, at 902-292 6220.
PRESS CONFERENCE: Educators call for concrete plans to fight child poverty in the provincial election
Date: Friday, July 30, 2021Time: 9:30 a.m.Zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81999245343?pwd=ZytmSGRBUkVpelJTZ2g1M1hOSXZHQT09
- Angela Wyllie, elementary teacher, Annapolis Valley Regional Centre for Education
- Dr. Lesley Frank (Acadia University), co-author, Child and Family Report Card 2020 – Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Nova Scotia
- Diane Lewis, high school teacher, Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education
- Alec Stratford, executive director, Nova Scotia College of Social Workers
- MC: Cole Wild, junior high school teacher, Halifax Regional Centre for Education