Manitoba NDP MPs call on Liberals to end child poverty 

MANITOBA—On Monday, MPs Leah Gazan (Winnipeg Centre) and Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook Aski) demanded that the federal government take action to end child poverty, citing rising rates in the recently released Manitoba Child and Family Poverty Report Card. Gazan and Ashton are calling on the government to implement a national school lunch program and a framework for a guaranteed, livable basic income (GLBI).

The report found an increase of over 10,000 Manitoban children living in poverty in the most recent year available. Among those worst impacted are on reserve First Nations children, who had three times the rate of poverty as non-First Nations children.  

Gazan, a former educator, voiced strong concern about the increasing child poverty in her province.

“No child deserves to grow up while struggling to access their necessities,” said Gazan. “Poverty is detrimental for a child’s learning and development, and it puts our society’s future at risk.” She also pointed out that child poverty in Manitoba disproportionately impacts children from single-parent households, mostly headed by women. “Many single mothers are forced to work part-time or not work at all because of their responsibilities as parents. When the government fails single parents, it fails their children, too.” 

According to Ashton, this increase in child poverty in Manitoba was preventable.

“The reality is there was a historic cut in the child poverty rate due to COVID-era benefits and what did the Liberals do? Get rid of these supports. Now we’re seeing historic cuts to Indigenous Services Canada which the Liberals know will only harm First Nation communities.” 

In addition to the NDP’s recent call for a national school lunch program, Gazan and Ashton urge the government to support the implementation of a GLBI program to eliminate poverty for everyone in Canada. Gazan has put forward Bill C-223 calling on the government to develop a national framework for a GLBI.

“Child poverty is a choice, one the Liberals are too happy to make. Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives would be even worse, they would make even more cuts that would hurt kids,” said Ashton. “With the budget coming soon, the Liberals need to decide which choice they’ll make—deliver help to lift children out of poverty, or continue to turn a blind eye to reality.”

Leah Gazan
(204) 984-1675

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