Monday, December 08, 2008

Ontario's anti poverty plan, more stats desired by some

Some anti-poverty groups in Ontario say that the plan unveiled last week by provincial government was a good start. But, they would like to see further numbers crunched on how poverty effects different races.

Tanya Talaga of the Toronto Star details the complaint.

While the strategy is hailed as a welcome first step, race-based numbers need to be collected and analyzed, according to the Colour of Poverty Campaign, a province-wide group.

The issue of collecting race-based statistics is something the government has to look at carefully, said Children and Youth Minister Deb Matthews, who is in charge of Ontario's poverty reduction strategy.

"Ontario is in the midst of a social experiment here in that our level of diversity is quite extraordinary.

"We need to show the rest of the world that it works," Matthews said in an interview.

"When certain groups are not thriving we need to recognize that and get to work at it. Because our strategy really focuses on kids living in poverty, and racialized (people of colour) groups are disproportionately affected, this strategy will disproportionately affect those kids."

As the strategy is implemented, a further breakdown of indicators used to measure poverty will be considered she said, adding the link between poverty and race is acknowledged in the strategy report entitled Breaking the Cycle.

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