Anti-poverty groups call on Ottawa to increase child benefits

A national coalition of anti-poverty groups is asking the Trudeau government to boost the basic amount it provides in child benefits in hopes of cutting child poverty rates in Canada in half by the end of the decade.

The group Campaign 2000 wants Ottawa to change the rules so those earning less can keep more of the benefit, and to increase payments with the cost of living, retroactive to when the new benefit was first introduced last July.

It says the goal would be to reduce child poverty rates by 50 per cent by 2020.

Anita Khanna, the group's national co-ordinator, also wants the government to consider more lucrative employment insurance benefits, including for new parents, and further expand job training programs.

She say such measures, among others, would help more people climb out of poverty and contribute more to the economy.