Food or school supplies?

Bus fare or winter boots?

Imagine month after month not having enough money to put healthy food on your family’s table and to pay for rent and other basics like clothing, school supplies and phone bills.

This situation is known as “food insecurity” or “food poverty” — not having enough money for healthy food. This is the reality for many of the almost 57,000 Simcoe Muskoka residents living with low income.

This report estimates the price of inaction. Regardless of the strategy used to address poverty, it asks, “What does it cost us to allow poverty to persist in Toronto?” It estimates how much more we may be spending in the health care and justice systems simply because poverty exists, and how much we lose in tax revenue, simply because poverty exists.

This preliminary analysis conservatively estimates that the overall cost of poverty in Toronto ranges from $4.4 to $5.5 billion per year. This estimate is largely comparable, with the exception of intergenerational costs, with estimates of the cost of poverty in Ontario at $32 to $38 billion and for Canada at $72 to $85 billion

Poverty in Toronto costs between $4.4 billion and $5.5 billion a year, according to a groundbreaking report on what we all pay in added health care, policing and depressed economic productivity for the city’s 265,000 families living on low incomes.

“The cost of poverty reflects the massive economic burden that comes with the problems created by poverty,” says the report by social policy expert John Stapleton and research analysts Alexa Briggs and Celia Lee.

The analysis, the first of its kind for a large Canadian city, comes in the wake of reports that Toronto remains the child poverty capital of Canada and on the eve of the city’s 2017 budget launch on Dec. 6

Child poverty is family poverty. Child poverty statistics report on the number and percentage of children that live in families with income below a particular income threshold. Thus, child poverty does not exist outside of family poverty.

Child and family poverty is a social problem rooted in structures of inequality both economic and political. It is primarily measured by examining economic factors related to family income, either by comparing the incomes of Canadians, or in comparing incomes to the cost of necessities for daily living.

Manitoba’s child-poverty rate is the highest in Canada for the second straight year, a national report card released Thursday reveals.

The Campaign 2000 report, A Road Map to Eradicate Child and Family Poverty, examined the most recent data available, collected from 2014. The corresponding Manitoba Child and Family Poverty Report Card 2016 — released by Winnipeg Harvest — shows one in 3.5 children in the province are living in poverty.

The troubling data show the number grew from 23 per cent in 1989 to 29 per cent in 2014, the highest of any province, and exceeded only by the territory of Nunavut.

Sid Frankel, the provincial report’s author and an associate professor of social work at the University of Manitoba, said the one-in-3.5 statistic translates to 85,110 children in Manitoba, and the province’s “deep poverty” rate is 10.5 per cent above the national 18.5 rate

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released its 2016 report card on Child and family poverty in Nova Scotia Thursday.

The report card is based on figures from 2014, the most recent year for which data is available. Nova Scotia has the third-highest rate of child poverty in Canada, at 22.5 per cent.

The situation is even more dramatic within the province. The overall child poverty rate in Cape Breton is listed as 32.8 per cent, up from 32.4 per cent in 2013.

One out of every five children in British Columbia lives in poverty, according to an annual report card that First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition released Tuesday.

Using the most recent available figures from Statistics Canada, the coalition found the 19.8 per cent child poverty rate in B.C. in 2014 was only slightly lower than the 20.4 per cent rate a year earlier, and remains higher than the Canadian average of 18.5 per cent.

“A lot of people are just holding on,” said Adrienne Montani, the provincial coordinator for First Call.