There is no doubt that over the last 20 years the island of Cape Breton has been in serious decline in population, economically, spiritually and morally.
Many on the island have complex needs, with a mixture of poverty, insecure housing, addiction and unemployment or low wage jobs. 24.7% of families on Cape Breton are single families - that is higher that NS average 17.3% and higher than the Canadian average of 16.3%
Cape Breton Mayor Cecil Clarke says Cape Breton unemployment rate is now 17.5% well above provincial (9.1%) and nation rates (7.1%) and is pushing Cape Breton into a crisis.
According to the 2015 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Nova Scotia, 32.4% of Cape Breton children are living in poverty. 1 in 3 children on the island are living in poverty according to the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives. Nationally it is 19%.