A new report from Northern Health suggests one in five children in British Columbia’s north are being raised in poverty.
The findings come after a team visited 20 communities in northern B.C. and heard from nearly a thousand people and organizations about what life is like for kids.
Chief Medical Health Officer Doctor Sandra Allison says Prince Rupert and other small surrounding communities have some of the highest levels of childhood poverty, affecting up to 80% of children under the age of five.
She says the findings aren’t unique to northern B.C., saying there are similar findings in other rural areas of Canada.
Dr. Allison says now that the report is out, Northern Health and other stakeholders can begin looking for solutions.
The report wasn’t able to look specifically at indigenous communities, but Dr. Allison says that’ll be her next focus.
She emphasizes northern communities are doing excellent work in helping each other, and despite living in poverty, these communities can be healthy and vibrant.