Results from a survey suggest that the vast majority of those who are homeless or “provisionally accommodated” in Whitehorse are Indigenous.

The “Point in Time,” or “PiT” count was done over a 24-hour period on April 17. It was organized by the Yukon Planning Group on Homelessness, along with the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition and the Council of Yukon First Nations.

It was the second PiT count in Whitehorse (the first was in 2016), and is part of a larger initiative to measure homelessness across Canada. Sixty communities across the country are taking part in PiT counts.

Minister MacLeod’s announcement to cut social assistance rates by 1.5 per cent will take approximately $150 million out of the hands of people who are among the most vulnerable in Ontario.

“People on social assistance continue to live well below the poverty line and would have used the additional much-needed money to pay for basic necessities,” says Jackie Esmonde, Staff Lawyer at the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC).

Important reforms to meet the unique needs of Indigenous communities have also been put on hold. Ending these changes will have a very negative impact on people experiencing the deepest poverty in our province and demonstrates a profound disrespect for the needs of Indigenous people in Ontario.

Thousands of Indigenous families living on-reserve will miss out on a boost to the federal Liberals’ signature child benefit that government MPs plan to tout at dozens of events Thursday.

Almost every family in the country receives the monthly benefit, but take-up rates for families on-reserve have consistently lagged behind the wider population – largely chalked up to lower tax filing rates among Indigenous families.

Tax returns are the basis for calculating how much a family receives under the Canada Child Benefit.

The government now estimates one in every five Indigenous families on-reserve who should qualify are not receiving the benefit, an improvement from two years ago when about half of families on-reserve missed out on the means-tested benefit.

The average child poverty rate across Canada is 17.4 per cent, but in the Kenora Riding it rises to 34.7 per cent. According to Campaign 2000, Canada’s ridings with the worst child poverty rates are home to the highest proportions of Indigenous and racialised people, recent immigrants and mostly mother headed lone parent families, as well as the highest unemployment and lowest labour market participation rates and the highest proportion of renters and people spending more than 30 per cent of their income on housing.

“Child and family poverty knows no boundaries in Canada,” said Anita Khanna, Campaign 2000’s national coordinator. “It is a reality in every single riding. Poverty means there are too many children suffering hunger, ill health and stress beyond their years in communities across the country.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. Child poverty remains a national disgrace. Research by Campaign 2000, a national, non-partisan network of community partner organizations working to end child and family poverty in Canada, shows every single federal riding is home to significant numbers of children in poverty. Despite Canada being one of the world’s richest countries, 4.8 million people live in poverty — 1.2 million are children. More than 850,000 Canadians rely on food banks — and those numbers are growing — and more than 250,000 Canadians experience some form of homelessness annually.

Deplorably, Indigenous peoples, racialized Canadians, new immigrants, seniors, those affected by disability or in lone-parent led families are likely to live in poverty due to systemic discrimination.

Canada is home to 1.2 million children that live in poverty, according to a report from the organization Campaign 2000. That figure represents 17 per cent of children. The poverty rate for First Nations children is more than double, 37.9 per cent.

The group used 2015 income tax data to determine child poverty rates split up by federal election ridings. Saskatchewan is home to one of two ridings where a majority of children live in poverty.

Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River, a riding that extends from Meadow Lake, Sask. north to the Northwest Territory border, has a child poverty rate of 57.8 per cent. Manitoba’s Churchill-Keewatinook Aski is the only riding with greater child poverty, 64.2 per cent.