Feb 04, 2013

By Scott Walker

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Canada needs to do more to correct poverty rates and rising income inequality.

A Conference Board of Canada study ranks Canada seventh out of 17 developed countries on a range of “society indicators.” Canada does well on issues such as the homicide rate, unemployment, voter turnout, and elder poverty.

But author Brenda Lafleur says Canada’s score is hurt by a child poverty rate that sees one in seven kids impoverished. She says poverty rates can be improved if Canadians and their politicians make them a priority. She points to the incidence of elder poverty thirty years ago that was corrected when it came to light and caused a national outcry.

The report says the growing child poverty rate — up nearly 20 per cent since the mid-1990s — could put the economy at risk, since youth who don’t benefit from the economy are less likely to upgrade their skills through more school.

Denmark leads the list of 17 countries. The US is last.


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