Cold Lake has a below average child poverty rate for Alberta, but it’s still in the double digits. 13.7 per cent of children in the city are in low income families. Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta Joel French says the provincial rate is even higher at around 16 per cent. “We should keep in mind too,” he adds “that this data is from the latest available from statistics Canada which is from 2013. So this wouldn’t take into account the current economic downturn . Things would be slightly worse I imagine but we won’t know until the data catches up.”
French says the NDP government has made some positive moves like raising the minimum wage and the Child Tax Benefit, but adds there’s much work to be done. He believes more money should be raised through upping income taxes or creating a sales tax.
A family is considered to be poor if their income is less than half of the median income for their community.