OPINION: Child poverty needs to be addressed


It would seem that some don’t think child poverty is a problem in Fall River because it is a wealthy community. At least that’s the vibe I get from the coffee shops, talking to people out and about, and online comments.

A recent report from the N.S. office for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative (CCPA) shows Fall River has the lowest child poverty rate across the province at 3.9 per cent. Meanwhile, the report indicated that the city of Halifax had the seventh highest rate of child poverty across Canada.

Other local communities were mentioned in the report. Beaver Bank has an 11.2 per cent rate; Waverley is at 7.9 per cent; and Enfield, HRM was pegged at 9.5 per cent.

The report’s analysis found that poverty in municipalities across the province indicates a “quite significant” range.

I beg to differ with the report, and those that think child poverty does not exist in our community simply because it’s a so-called “wealthy” area. That I feel is the furthest thing from the truth.

With the exception of a few subdivisions, the Fall River area is your regular community with people of all walks of life and incomes living in it. If it were as wealthy as people think, then the Lions Christmas Express wouldn’t have had to feed 100 less fortunate families and sponsor more than four handfuls of families at Christmas.

It is a real problem that exists. One child living in poverty is one too many, in my opinion.

It’s something that isn’t an easy fix, but is one that all three levels of our governments have to take into consideration and address.

Pat Healey

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Pat has grown up in East Hants, having called Milford, and now Enfield home. He graduated from the journalism program at Holland College in 2001, and has spent time at newspapers in NL and Alberton and Summerside, PEI before becoming a reporter/photographer at The Weekly Press/The Laker in October 2008. He has a rescue kitty named Asha that is much loved—and spoiled. Pat is also our "social engagement guru." Check him out on twitter!