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Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg

Child Poverty, Social Programs and Children’s Rights

Date Recorded: Mar 22nd, 2006
Recorded At: Vancouver Public Library
Recorded By: Necessary Voices Society
Duration: 59:00  

Topic Background

Article 27 of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child guarantees that all children shall have an adequate standard of living, and that all of their needs for shelter, clothing and food should adequately be met. According to Statistics Canada, in 2004, almost one in six children in Canada lived in poverty, many in circumstances which demonstrably contravened the spirit of this Article.

In 1989, members of all parties of the House of Commons unanimously agreed to seek to end child poverty by the year 2000. Sadly, there has been very limited progress toward that goal, and child poverty rates in some provinces have actually risen since that date. The eradication of child poverty in Canada, Goldberg maintains, is essentially tied to increased social programs. Income security through an increased child tax benefit, Increase of the minimum wage, repealing legislation ( Bill 37) that has reduced the minimum work age from 15 to 12, establishment of high quality, universal childcare, and the development of a comprehensive Canadian Housing strategy, can all serve to reduce poverty’s effects on Canadian children’s standard of living.

Speaker Biography

Michael Goldberg is a researcher and advocate with the Social Planning and Research Council of BC, and has worked in the social development field in Vancouver since 1970.

He has played an important role in First Call, a coalition of parties advocating for legislation and policies which ensure that all children and youth have the resources they require to meet their full potential.

Michael’s commitment to participative, community-based research has been at the core of much of his advocacy work, including the development of the regional Homeless Plan update. He was the most recent recipient of the Weiler Award trust, which is presented annually by the Canadian Counlil on Social Development to acknowledge and honour exceptional contributions to community and social development in Canada.

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