"This is the first generation in a long time that doesn't think its children will be better off..." declared economist Hugh Mackenzie, a Toronto CCPA research associate.
The median earnings of full-time Canadian workers increased by just $53 annually -- that's right, $53 annually -- between 1980 and 2005. This 25-year income stagnation contrasts dramatically with the 16.4 per cent income gain posted by the richest Canadians and amplifies the shocking 20.6 per cent income drop afflicting the poorest.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' 2007 Growing Gap project found "greater inequality isn't just a statistic...The income gap is being driven by the extreme gains the market is delivering to the richest among us -- and the richer they are the richer they are becoming. The share of total earnings going to the richest 10 per cent of families soared from 23 per cent in the late 1970s to almost 30 per cent in 2004."
More Canadians earn minimum wages, 4.7 per cent in 2000 rose to 5.2 per cent in 2008In June 2009 Food Banks Canada reported a 20-per cent increase in the number turning to food banks each month.
Canadians with low-incomes have the highest mortality rates, the lowest life expectancy rates and the highest rates of hospitalization. 43 per cent of children from low-income families have some kind of psychiatric, schooling or social problem. One-in-seven Canadian children live in poverty. In Canada there is more inequality and poverty than most OECD countries. Canada ranked 15th out of 17 countries for working age poverty.
On Child Poverty in Canada
One in 10 Canadian children is living in poverty, according to a report on the status of child and family poverty.
With Parliament's self-imposed deadline long past, it still has far to go on the promise it made 21 years ago to eradicate child poverty by 2000.
The most recent numbers show there is a 9.1 per cent rate of child poverty in Canada, down slightly from 11.9 per cent in 1989, the year Parliament unanimously resolved to end child poverty
One in seven children or about 121,000 kids in British Columbia were found to be living in poverty in 2008.
The poverty rate among B.C. children below the age of six during that year was 19.6 percent. This means that one in five in this age category didn’t have enough to lead decent lives.
The vast majority of BC’s poor children live in families with some income from paid work, with over one third having at least one adult working full-time, full-year.
Inequity is also growing. The gap between the incomes of the richest 10% and poorest 10% of families with children grew from a ratio of 11 to 1 in 2007 to 14 to 1 in 2008.
Families in the three lowest income groups (deciles) saw an actual decline in their incomes between 1989 and 2008.