Sample Sociology Essays on Poverty in Canada

Statistics released by Statistics Canada showed that the poverty levels in the country have more or less remained at a constant despite an increase in the national median income between 2005 and 2015. Using the tax information filled by Canadians during the 2015 tax filing year, the institution reported that up to 4.8 million Canadians were earning less than the national median income and hence were living below the poverty line. More alarming is the high proportion of children that make up the 4.8 million people. The census established that up to 1.2 million children in the country were living below the poverty line despite a 1989 declaration by the legislatures to bring to an end the vicious cycle of poverty among children aged below 18 years by 2000. The census also established that the number of those aged 65 years above living below the poverty line has increased significantly. According to Statistics Canada, single-parent children were over three times likely to live in families earning less than the national median income. This statistic was also replicated in several big cities where up to a fifth of children lived in poor households (Press, 2017).

Individuals affected by poverty in the country are forced to panhandle along the streets. Most of them are homeless with many of them living in the streets or homeless shelters. In some cases, they are forced to live with relatives because their low income cannot cover for rent and other basic needs. Due to low income, some parents cannot afford day care fees for their children. This subsequently makes it difficult for them to leave their children behind when they go to work to earn a living. In areas such as Alberta the availability of child care services and other associated programs has significantly boosted women employment rates. Therefore, women in low income households are more likely to be unemployed which is further exacerbated by low number of jobs in regions such as Windsor, Ontario where the manufacturing industry is struggling. Additionally, children from households living below the poverty line do not receive proper care (Press, 2017). Studies have shown that such children are more likely to miss out on important life opportunities and suffer various health conditions compared to their counterparts from well-off households (Gupta, Wit & McKeown, 2007).

The House of Commons provided a policy framework to eradicate poverty especially among Canadian children in 1989. While the 2000 deadline they gave passed with little progress, the current Liberal government has put in place several measures to handle poverty in the country with special attention paid to children and their families. Towards this end, the federal government has introduced child benefits and child care programs that are aimed at raising household income. The multibillion-dollar aims at tackling poverty in Canada through a three-pronged approach that. First, the government aims at reducing child poverty through increasing child benefits and resources to households and parents. This will help households especially women to afford child care services and seek for employment. The rolling out of this initiative in provinces such Quebec has seen more women enter into the job market. This has helped the federal government it inequality reduction objective. Finally, the government aims at ensuring that parents gain greater economic independence that is imperative when it comes to providing adequate and better child care for their children (Press, 2017).








Gupta, R. P-S., Wit, M. L. & McKeown, D. (2007). The impact of poverty on the current and future health status of children. Paediatr Child Health. 12(8): 667–672.

Press, J. (2017 Sept. 13). Census: Children make up one quarter of 4.8M Canadians living in poverty. CTV News. Retrieved from: