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At least one-third of Toronto kids are poor, officials say

January 14, 1997

TORONTO (AP) _ More than a third of all children in the Toronto area live in poverty, city officials say, adding that their figures are substantially higher those of the federal government.

While trying to determine the need for children’s services over the next five years, city officials discovered 36 percent of children under the age of 10 living in families below the poverty line, said Petr Varmuza, Metro’s assistant director of child services.

Both Statistics Canada and Campaign 2000, a children’s advocacy group, reported last year that one in four children in the Toronto area live below the poverty line.

But Varmuza said their methods of gathering data _ written and telephone surveys _ leave out families with no phone or permanent home, or who are illiterate.

City officials obtained their figures _ 89,000 out of 250,000 children _ by cross-referencing computer records on social-assistance payments, public health services and other sources of information.

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