Children First Canada, in collaboration with the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, and endorsed by the Council of Champions, recently released the highly informative “Raising Children: Election 2019.” The report highlights the main priorities in Children First Canada’s Canadian Children’s Charter and serves as a call to action aimed at Canada’s political leaders to make some very necessary changes in the future interest of our youth.
“The majority of Canadians rank this as a top five or top ten country to raise a child, but the reality is that Canada ranks 25th…” says Sara Austin, founder and Lead Director of Children First Canada. “As a society, we have largely ignored the harsh realities that affect our most vulnerable, and that needs to change. As Canadians prepare to head to the polls, now is the time to demand that these challenges be tackled.”
While Accidents and Preventable Injuries rank first, Suicide ranks the second most alarming concern, citing that 20% of Atlantic Canadian youth have experienced suicidal thoughts. Sadly, Newfoundland is no exception to these dangers, as research suggests our children suffer from an average poverty rate of 10.6%, as well as one of the highest rates of childhood obesity, coming in at 31.4% – more than 7% above Canada’s average.
Interestingly, Immunization is on the list, claiming that a quarter of our country’s children are not fully vaccinated by the age of two. This statistic suggests that Canada is just as vulnerable to the Anti-Vax movement, so much so that it is a higher concern than Bullying, which is considered the lowest threat of the ten.
Additionally, the report calls for Children First Canada’s Charter to be recognized and implemented within the government. It also asks that the Canadian government create a Children’s Budget as a means of addressing the dangers this list poses to our children.
Children First Canada is a national non-profit organization who prioritizes the safety and well-being of Canada’s youth. They strive to make Canada the best place in the world to grow up. For more information, visit their website: http://www.childrenfirstcanada.com