Newly released data from Statistics Canada shows that the rate of child poverty in Alberta fell by 50% between 2015 and 2017. While child poverty was reduced in almost every province, the greatest drop was seen in Alberta.
Two specific public policies implemented in 2016 have contributed significantly to this decline: the consolidation of a several federal child benefits and credits into the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), and the introduction of the Alberta Child Benefit (ACB).
Modeled after similar benefits that have long existed for senior citizens, the CCB and ACB provide direct financial assistance to families with children. The amount a family receives depends on both size and household income and is phased out as income increases. The Alberta Child Benefit is specifically targeted to families with incomes below $42,255 per year.
Momentum has collaborated for many years with community partners like Vibrant Communities Calgary, Action to End Poverty in Alberta, and United Way of Calgary and Area to promote public policies that reduce poverty in our communities. One such policy recommendation, first published in the 2013 Poverty Costs 2.0 report, was to introduce an Alberta Child Benefit for families with low and modest incomes. The proposal enjoyed support from across the political spectrum was eventually introduced by the newly-elected provincial government in October 2015.
Additional poverty reduction policies and initiatives have been introduced by the federal and provincial governments in recent years. Complementary policies like the increases to Alberta’s minimum wage, federal and provincial investments in affordable housing and childcare, as well as subsidized access to public transit are just some of actions governments are taking to further address poverty in our communities.
Are you eligible to receive the Canada and Alberta Child Benefits? Read more about how to access different government benefits and credits here: Benefits are Waiting