A message to Honourable Janice MacKinnon:
Saskatchewan didn't reduce its child poverty rate between 1989 and 1997

Nipawin - November 21, 2000 - by: Mario deSantis


A report on child poverty published yesterday, Monday November 20, by Campaign 2000,
shows these dramatic events for the year 1998(1):
- One Canadian child in five is living in poverty.
-1.34 million children under the age of 18 lived below the poverty line, or 43
per cent more than in 1989.
- UNICEF reports that Canada ranks 17th among 23 of the "rich nations club",
those countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD).
- The number of poor children was 48,300 in Saskatchewan.
- The rate of child poverty was 18.7% for Saskatchewan, and the highest child
poverty rate was 25.1% for Newfoundland.



those on
First Nations reserves

I observed more attentively the statistics about our province, and I felt that something could
have been wrong in reporting the fact that Saskatchewan was not included among the
provinces with the highest child poverty rates. Our provincial auditor has reported
previously a much more disastrous situation for our school children and therefore I read
the full report to find out if our Saskatchewan figures were biased. And yes, I found out in
a note of the report that "Statistics Canada data excludes those on First Nations reserves;
those in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut; and children living in institutions."



14% of
the total

Now, we have to understand that Saskatchewan has the highest growing aboriginal
population of any other province. Also, Saskatchewan has one of the highest proportion
of aboriginal people, that is 14% of the total population and this proportion is expected to
rise to 45% by the year 2045(2). We must once again thank our provincial auditor to let us
know the truth when he said that "up to 40% of Saskatchewan's school-aged children are
at risk of doing poorly in school(3)" because they are so poor. Also, the provincial auditor
has stated that "about 90% of children attend schools within the provincially-funded system,
while the remaining 10% attend schools within the federally funded system (band schools
in Indian reserve)."




It is not true that our child poverty rate is 18.7%, and if we take into consideration the fact
that Indian children live in desperate conditions in their reserves, than the child rate can be
estimated to be not less than 28.7% (Indian preschooler children are not included in this
rate of 28.7%). That is whenever we include our children living in Indian reserves our
provincial child poverty rate is not less than 28.7%, the highest child poverty rate all
across Canada.




Honourable Janice MacKinnon didn't tell us the truth when she said that Saskatchewan
"was the only province to reduce its child poverty rate between 1989 and 1997(4)." This
government has written off the most indigent and weak segment of our population, and at
the same time it has provided an economic growth for natives based on gambling and not
education. And this is why we have a corrupted Indian leadership(5), because we have
corrupted governments(6) gambling with the lives of our most defenseless people, our
children, native and not native.
  List of relevant articles http://www.ftlcomm.com/ensign


Child Poverty in Canada, Report Card 2000, Campaign 2000


Aboriginals poised to irrevocably alter political landscape, by Adam Killick, National Post, February 07, 2000


1999 Fall Report, Volume 2, Report of the Provincial Auditor, Saskatchewan, Chapter 2, Education, pages 117-132


Honourable Janice MacKinnon: debating the economic underdevelopment of Saskatchewan, by Mario deSantis, February 9, 2000


2000 Fall Report: Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority and Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, Volume 2, Report of the Provincial Auditor, Saskatchewan




Today's most important problem: Lack of democracy of our leaders in power, be native or not native, by Mario deSantis, November 17, 2000