Saskatchewan on the leading edge…of child poverty


I’ve blogged about this before.

In 2006 nearly one in every five Saskatchewan children were living in families with incomes below the low-income cutoff line, according to a new report released Friday.

According to the 2008 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada this province’s child poverty rate is the second highest in the country, following only British Columbia. It would be even higher if the report included children inFirst Nations communities where it is estimated one in four lives in poverty.

I’ve blogged it in passing, here at rabble, and in more detail over here. I’ve also written about it for magazines and newspapers, in lobby documents and various other places. I don’t know why I bother.

“We have been dealing with this issue for almost 20 years and the numbers have not been changed in any significant way,” said Ailsa Watkinson, a member of the University of Regina Faculty of Social Work Social Policy Research Unit.

In fact, according to Watkinson, the depth of poverty has grown as the disparity between the rich and the poor widens.

Does anyone really care?  Hell no!  But apparently, the economy and the corporations are more important.  The markets have feelings, too, don’t you know?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, speaking here on the eve of the APEC leaders’ summit, said markets “remain in a state of fear” and vowed to take “unprecedented fiscal actions if they are necessary” to stimulate economic growth and ease tightened credit conditions.

The markets are “in a state of fear.” Right. Markets have feelings, don’t they? Perhaps children do not.  Perhaps children are supposed to continue to bear the brunt of neoliberal and neoconservative agendas that have dominated our culture for the past two decades.  Perhaps children really don’t matter.  I mean, after all, they’re really just a burden, aren’t they?  A liability?  That’s really what political doctrine dictates, isn’t it?  The federal Mulroney/Chretien/Martin/Harper governments as well as the provincial Devine/Romanow/Calvert/Wall ones of the last 20 years have not cared about kids. They certainly didn’t take “unprecedented fiscal actions” when it was necessary to help kids!

Canadians — and Saskatchewanians, in particular — let’s just admit it, ok?  When it comes to tending to the needs of children, to the wellbeing of our future, politicians of all political stripes are effing LOSERS!

They penalize women for pregnancy, taking away almost 50 percent of their wages.  They force females through hell by refusing to provide decent, affordable, quality childcare to them when they’re ready to re-enter the workforce.  They place women at an economic disadvantage by providing next to nothing financially when women place their children in care or when they choose to stay at home.  And, on top of all that, they refuse to recognize in any meaningful way that the work women do in rearing the children contributes to the economy!

What kind of sick, sick effing world is this?

And we all know how much the corporate sector does for children, too, don’t we?  Of course, they’ll donate a couple of bucks to a program here, provide bling for a raffle there, take pretty pictures, and say they’re good corporate citizens while they rape our land, overcharge us for mostly useless goods and services, grossly overpay their executives, and run away with billions in profits.

All this they do while one child in four lives in poverty in my province.  It is despicable!

Markets have feelings?  Go to hell! Corporations care?  Chuck you, Farley! I spit in your face!


Leave a comment


  1. Testify sister!

  2. Putting a bunch of random thoughts of mine into one place. Great article.

  3. Thanks, folks! I surely felt a lot better after spitting that out!

  4. Anna-Marie

     /  November 23, 2008

    I care.

  5. kendra

     /  November 24, 2008

    I care and am with you. Thank you for giving your emotion some expresson! Power!

  6. See our website,, click on provinces, Saskatchewan and publications to find our recent paper, Will the Saskatchewan economic boom reduce poverty?

    Saskatchewan needs a comprehensive, integrated poverty elimination program. Our website presents several models tor such programs which have worked in Quebec and a number of northern European nations.

  7. Thanks, all. I think I’ve seen that paper, Brian.

    Now Obama is personalizing it. It’s a patient that needs resuscitation!

    Gimme a freaking break!!!

  8. Cheryl Krett

     /  November 25, 2008

    I was forwarded your blog by the SFL. While I agree with your comments, I can’t help but think… we can rant and rave at the politicians all we want… but what are WE going to do about it… when are WE going to put some action to this problem of child poverty… what can WE do. I’d love to help with this issue – I went to Mozambique on a mission trip this summer and saw extreme poverty. Over 40 per cent of the country’s population is children under 14 living on less than a dollar a day… and then was surprised when I read the story that one in six children in our OWN PROVINCE live in poverty. That was a wake up call to me and I’d really like to see change. WHAT CAN WE DO AS INDIVIDUALS TO PROMPT CHANGE? Let’s have some dialogue about that.

  9. Well, Cheryl, as a feminist, I believe that the personal is political, every decision I make, from where I shop to what I do with my time is a political decision. As such, I set basic intentions for living and do so to the best of my ability. Of course, there’s no way I can be 100% at that. I am human.

    But I’m going to try my damnedest to be the change I want to see in the world. And if I need to rant every now and then to get through, then so be it.

  10. Merci beaucoup du message que vous avez laissé sur mon blogue. Je crois comme vous qu’il nous faudrait pouvoir se lire les uns les autres et dialoguer au-delà des langues. Plus la traduction sera automatisée, plus cela sera facile, mais peut-être aussi que des traducteurs bénévoles pourraient donner un coup de main aux progressistes qui tentent d’établir ce dialogue, un peu comme sur le site Project Syndicated 😉 Je ne suis hélas pas traducteur, mais je participerais volontiers à une initiative en ce sens.

    Pour ce qui est de l’élection ici au Québec, hélas j’entretiens peu d’espoir d’une victoire qui ferait avancer la société. J’espère tout juste que les résultats de l’élection ne nous feront pas reculer.

    Comme vous, je crois que nos enfants vont de plus en plus échanger au-delà des frontières de langues et que c’est pour le mieux.

  11. eeek

     /  March 19, 2009


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