2023 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Nova Scotia: Families Deserve Action, Not Excuses

January 30, 2024

Halifax/Kjipuktuk -The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia (CCPA-NS) released the 2023 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Nova Scotia, which records a historic single-year increase in child poverty since 1989 when the promise was made to eradicate child poverty.  The child poverty rate in Nova Scotia in 2021 increased by 11.4%, going from 18.4% in 2020 to 20.5%. Nova Scotia records the highest child poverty rate in Atlantic Canada and the fourth-highest in Canada.

Dr. Lesley Frank, Tier II Canada Research Chair in Food, Health, and Social Justice at Acadia University, co-author of the report and Research Associate with the CCPA-NS, says, “Last year’s report card recorded the largest single-year reduction in child poverty in Nova Scotia because of pandemic benefits. This year’s report card records the largest single-year increase since 1989. What did we learn? That child poverty can be tackled, but our elected officials have chosen not to persist.”

“This report card lays out a roadmap for ending child poverty by 2026. Nova Scotia has the fiscal capacity to build a poverty-free future where kids can be kids, housed, fed, and thriving; we urge the government to use it. The urgency to support children is to mitigate the long-term effects on their development because the longer they live in poverty, the worse for their well-being. The longer they live in poverty, the more expensive it is for us as a society, too.” says Dr. Christine Saulnier, co-author of the report and Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia.

Dorothy Halliday, Executive Director of Community Cares Youth Outreach in Cape Breton, said, "Those with lived experience will see themselves and their children in this report. The report is clear and actionable, with roles/responsibilities at all levels of government. Actions by the community and government would send a message that they are listening and acknowledge the urgency. The basic rights of children are at stake.”





For more information or to arrange an interview with one of the co-authors, contact Lauren Matheson, 902-579-9555 (cell) or [email protected]

The report is available on the CCPA-NS website https://policyalternatives.ca/2023NSreportcard

The CCPA-NS is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice, as well as environmental sustainability. 



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