OUR VIEW: Way too many poor kids, not enough housing

B.C.'s new slogan is Canada Starts Here. Something should start here. Like trying to fix our dire social problems.

British Columbia, land of denial.

While the happy pollyanna peacocks among us pleasantly strut about, proclaiming what an awesome place this province is in which to live, work and play, troubling studies are revealing mange on that plumage.

The 2015 BC Child Poverty Report Card, released this week by First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition, reveals that 20.4 per cent – one in five children – in this province live in poverty. That’s 167,810 children – enough to fill Disneyland four times over. More than half live in Metro Vancouver.

B.C.’s child poverty rate is higher than the Canadian average of 19 per cent and slightly more than half of the province’s impoverished children live in single-parent families.

It’s no surprise, then, that the results of another study also released this week, by the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, reveals that single mothers, senior citizens, renters under age 30 and aboriginal people are facing a “severe” housing crisis in this province.

The study, said to be the most comprehensive rental housing study ever done in B.C., reveals that one third of single mothers and senior citizens and roughly one quarter of aboriginal people are spending more than half their gross income on rent.

It’s appropriate that the Liberal government has dumped the presumptuous slogan that B.C. is the “Best Place on Earth.” Amazing scenery won’t fill empty bellies or put roofs over heads.

The premier’s new slogan is “Canada Starts Here.”

Indeed, something should start here. Like maybe trying to fix these dire social problems.

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