Hamilton forgets its poorest citizens

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Uneven distribution of child care spaces, insufficient subsidies imperil children living in poverty

By Judith Bishop

Hamilton is a city with significant poverty, particularly among children. The 2013 Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (OMBI) shows 5,939 per 100,000 households are receiving social assistance, a poverty rate surpassed only by Windsor, London and Toronto. Twenty-six per cent of all its children are living in low-income households, second only to Toronto with 33 per cent.

Many of the poorest households are clustered in the lower city. Nate Laurie, author of the 2008 report “The Cost of Poverty, an analysis of the economic cost of poverty in Ontario,” has shown there is a relationship between poverty and poor health outcomes, lower productivity, lower educational attainment and children’s future income.

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Article and image source: The Hamilton Spectator

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