FREDERICTON – With the release of the Saint John Human Development Council’s Child Poverty Report Card for 2020, Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon is calling on Premier Higgs to implement the report’s key recommendations to curb child poverty in New Brunswick.
“We know the solutions to child poverty, but in order to address this problem, the Premier needs to be willing to invest money in improving the lives of New Brunswick families,” said Coon. “By making investments to increase social assistance rates, support local food production and build more affordable housing, the Premier could make a big difference in the lives of New Brunswick families.”
The Human Development Council’s report found that 26 communities in New Brunswick have a child poverty rate over 30 percent. The seven communities with the highest rates are all First Nations communities, with Esgenoôpetitj having the highest at 71.8%. Three of the fourteen communities with the highest levels of child poverty are in Green MLA Kevin Arseneau’s riding of Kent North.
“While the Premier and Minister of Social Development are not presented with child poverty in their ridings on a regular basis, since Quispamsis and Riverview have among the lowest child poverty rates in the province, I see it daily in my riding, and it is heartbreaking,” said Kevin Arseneau, MLA for Kent North. “The Premier needs to act now to reduce poverty, so all kids in New Brunswick have a fighting chance at a decent life.”