Over a quarter-century ago, Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion by NDP Leader Ed Broadbent to end child poverty by 2000. Few such well-intentioned parliamentary actions have produced such disappointing results.

Since then, the numbers of children living in poverty have dramatically risen, to the point where one in five live in families that fall below Statistics Canada’s Low Income Measure. According to the Conference Board of Canada, “Of the 13 countries for which historical data are available, Canada had the third-highest jump in the child poverty rate between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s.” Toronto, with one in four children living in poverty, has the dubious honour of having the highest proportion of children living marginally in Canada.