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Learn More About ESPC In The News, News Releases, And General News About The Organization.
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  • A Profile of Poverty in Edmonton - May 2019 Update

    A Profile of Poverty in Edmonton - May 2019 Update

    Read the full report (click on the link):A Profile of Poverty in Edmonton - May 2019 Update Click to download: 2016 Federal Census Neighbourhood Summary Click to download: Map: Prevalence of Low Income After-Tax (All Ages) Click to download: Map: Prevalence of Low Income After-Tax (0 to 17) INTRODUCTION Poverty affects people from all walks of life – young, old, employed, unemployed, those Read More
  • 2019 Vital Topics - Indigenous Women in Alberta

    2019 Vital Topics - Indigenous Women in Alberta

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, VITAL TOPICS, that are timely and important to Edmonton.  This edition focuses on Indigenous Women in Alberta.   Download: Vital Topic - Indigenous Women in Read More
  • 2018 Vital Topics - The Arts

    2018 Vital Topics - The Arts

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, VITAL TOPICS, that are timely and important to Edmonton.  This edition focuses on The Arts. ARTS include a wide variety of creative disciplines including: Read More
  • 2018 Vital Topics - Senior Women in Edmonton

    2018 Vital Topics - Senior Women in Edmonton

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, VITAL TOPICS, that are timely and important to Edmonton. Watch for these in each issue of Legacy in Action, and in the full issue Read More
  • Edmonton Vital Signs 2018

    Edmonton Vital Signs 2018

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, Vital Topics, that are timely and important to Edmonton - specifically Women, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Edmonton, Visible Minority Women, and Senior Women. Each of these topics appear in Read More
  • CBC News - Living wage in Edmonton is going up but that isn't good

    CBC News - Living wage in Edmonton is going up but that isn't good

    Radio Active with Adrienne Pan Interview with Sandra Ngo, Edmonton Social Planning Council. Click here to listen to the interview   Read More
  • Media Release: Edmonton Living Wage 2018 Update

    Media Release: Edmonton Living Wage 2018 Update

    June 21, 2018 For Immediate Release Edmonton Living Wage 2018 Update Contending with Costs For the first time in 2 years, the living wage for Edmonton has risen. For 2018, an income earner must make $16.48 per hour to support a family of four, an increase of $0.17 per hour from last year’s living wage. The living wage is intended Read More
  • 2018 Vital Topics - Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

    2018 Vital Topics - Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, VITAL TOPICS, that are timely and important to Edmonton. Watch for these in each issue of Legacy in Action, and in the full issue Read More
  • 2018 Vital Topics - Visible Minority Women in Edmonton

    2018 Vital Topics - Visible Minority Women in Edmonton

    Edmonton Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by Edmonton Community Foundation, in partnership with Edmonton Social Planning Council, to measure how the community is doing. This year we will also be focusing on individual issues, VITAL TOPICS, that are timely and important to Edmonton. Watch for these in each issue of Legacy in Action, and in the full issue Read More
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by: Jason Van Rassel, Calgary Herald

The provincial government's pledge to eliminate child poverty is being put to the test in a report out Tuesday that recommends an additional $1 billion in program spending aimed at helping the working poor.

Statistics published by Public Interest Alberta estimate there were 84,000 children living in poverty in Alberta in 2011, the last year for which data are available.

The number is actually down from 91,000 the year before, but one of the study's authors said the reduction has more to do with an overall improvement in the economy than any action by the provincial government.

"You can't eliminate child poverty in this province without actually investing," said Bill Moore-Kilgannon of Public Interest Alberta, which put together the report with the Alberta College of Social Workers and the Edmonton Social Planning Council.

Having a job isn't a panacea for poverty, Moore-Kilgannon said, because so many among Alberta's poor have jobs.

Statistics Canada data from 2011 estimated nearly 60 per cent of children in poverty lived in a household where one or more adults was working full time for the entire year.

"The reality for people is poverty is a divorce away, poverty is a workplace accident away," Moore-Kilgannon sad.

The report arrived at its poverty numbers using a benchmark called the low income measure after tax. Under that standard, a family of four earning approximately $40,000 or less in Alberta, after taxes, would be considered poor. A single person would make less than $20,000.

A key recommendation of the report is the introduction of a provincial child tax benefit. A monthly benefit of $1,200 per child, which could be adjusted according to a family's level of need, would cost approximately $200 million, Moore-Kilgannon said.

The recommendation could be implemented relatively cheaply, Moore-Kilgannon added, by distributing it monthly to coincide with the federal child tax benefit.

"That would keep administrative costs low," he said.

The report also recommends raising Alberta's minimum wage from the current $9.95 - the lowest in Canada - to $13 an hour with benefits or $14,50 [sic] without.

Premier Alison Redford promised in the 2012 election campaign to eliminate child poverty by 2017 and it's time for the government to begin delivering, Moore-Kilgannon said.

The provincial government is currently running a deficit that it estimates between $1.2 and $2 billion, but Moore-Kilgannon said the changes recommended in his report are affordable with changes to the province's tax regime.

"There are ways, very clearly, we can pay for it," he said.

The report advocates scrapping the province's flat personal income tax rate of 10 per cent in favour of a progressive regime that would tax high-income earners at a higher rate.

Adopting Saskatchewan's 15 per cent tax rate for all personal income over $122,589 would net the provincial government more than $1 billion in additional revenue, the report says.

Bringing in B.C.'s personal income tax rate of 14.7 per cent on all income over $104,754 would bring the province even more, the report adds.

Using that added revenue to pay for the social spending recommended by the report would be a concrete step toward lifting people out of poverty — and cutting the long-term costs to society, Moore-Kilgannon said.

The government is slated to release its poverty reduction plan early next year.

"We want to see real action - not just words," Moore-Kilgannon said.

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Video Feature

Global News - 1 in 6 Alberta children lives below poverty line

Read more about the Edmonton Social Planning Council report on child poverty in Alberta.

Alberta Child Poverty Report - 2018 Click to Download