Recession Causes Huge Poverty Spike

Almost one in five Edmonton children were living in poverty in 2009

The Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC) released data compiled by Statistics Canada confirming the recent recession caused a dramatic increase in poverty in Alberta in 2009.

“According to Statistics Canada, the number of Albertans living below the Market Basket Measure of Low Income increased from 210,000 in 2008 to 353,000 in 2009, a 68% increase,” said John Kolkman, the ESPC’s Research Coordinator. “The number of Alberta children living in low income increased from 60,000 to 105,000 between 2008 and 2009, a 75% increase.”

Kolkman noted the numbers for metro Edmonton are even worse. “One in eight people (12%) in Edmonton (144,000) lived in poverty in 2009. Almost one in five (19.2%) children lived in poverty. This translates into 51,000 children in our community.”

“While the recent recession caused poverty to rise in most of the country, nowhere were the increases as dramatic as in our province or region,” Kolkman emphasized.

Kolkman called on all Alberta political parties and leadership candidates to make poverty reduction a top priority.

Article provided by the Edmonton Social Planning Council.

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