• People With Disabilities in Poverty Trap, Says Report

    The median income for people with disabilities in Canada is nearly half that of those without disabilities, and 23 per cent of people with disabilities between 25 and 64 are living in poverty, according to the report. About 13.9 per cent of all Canadians live in poverty… Earlier this year Ottawa consulted the public as part of an initiative to develop legislation to improve accessibility for people with disabilities… anti-poverty organizations in the Chew on This! campaign to call for a national, rights-based anti-poverty plan.

  • Ontario’s basic income pilot project enrols 400 people, so far

    About 30 per cent of the initial group are on social assistance and the rest the working poor… efforts are being made to sign up participants because the pilot is “such a paradigm shift from what people are used to … it really is taking a lot of outreach in the community, a lot of one-on-one answering of questions so people understand what it is they could sign up for.”

  • CPP, subsidizing survivor pensions, not fair — to a point

    The fundamental problem with CPP is that it serves two masters: it’s designed to serve as a self-funding aid to financial security in retirement and to alleviate the plight of impoverished single seniors, most of whom are women… Is CPP fair? No. But it’s also not fair that far too many older single women live in poverty. Subsidizing child-rearing years and paying survivors’ pensions may not be fair, but it’s the right thing to do.

  • 7 things the Census teaches us about income inequality

    Ontario is becoming more polarized. The labour market might be rewarding families in the upper end of the income spectrum, but the bottom half of families raising children in Ontario saw its share of earnings fall to 19 per cent of the income pie… While income inequality hasn’t gotten dramatically worse since the Great Recession of 2008-09 — most of the damage happened between 1976-2006 — it’s not magically reversing on its own. It will take public policies to help close the gap.

  • Handing out money for free harder than it looks [Basic Income Project]

    The pilot is expected to cost $50 million a year and help the government determine whether a less intrusive and more trusting approach to delivering income support improves health, education and housing outcomes for low-income workers and people on welfare… But so far, the randomized weekly mail-outs have resulted in relatively few applications and even fewer cheques in the hands of low-income Ontarians.

  • Why millennials are lapping up every tweet and podcast from 94-year-old agitator Harry Leslie Smith

    Smith preaches about preserving democracy and the welfare state, creating a just society and living a life of compassion… he isn’t a politician or political theorist, instead he “speaks from experience in his bones” and delivers life lessons “with moral clarity.” Smith’s message — about how they should expect fair wages, pensions and workplace benefits — is not one that today’s younger generation is accustomed to hearing.

  • Allan MacEachen, overseer of social reform and skilled politician, dies at 96

    MacEachen was one of Canada’s most powerful cabinet ministers of the postwar era and held a variety of posts, including a term as minister of national health and welfare from 1965-1968 during the creation of medicare. As labour minister, MacEachen was also instrumental in reforming the labour code and establishing a new standard for the minimum wage. His other portfolios also included finance and he twice served as secretary of state for external affairs.

  • Once Upon A City: Poor house helped Toronto’s destitute

    The House of Industry provided both temporary and permanent accommodations. Residents were often required to do chores in return for help… Abandoned children and orphans were often placed as indentured servants in homes and farms around Toronto, where they were given room and board (and perhaps wages) in return for their work. A farm’s survival relied heavily on the work of children back then… By 1947, the House of Industry’s clients were primarily the elderly poor

  • CPP changes will disqualify 243,000 from Guaranteed Income Supplement: report

    Higher CPP benefits mean some low income seniors will no longer qualify for the GIS, a component of the Old Age Security program… unlike CPP, OAS spending must be found from government revenues at a time when demographic change will mean less tax revenue as a share of GDP. “This is going to be a real problem,” he said. “The governments in the future are going to be facing more and more of a constraint.”

  • Focusing on rights can help us eliminate poverty

    Politicians and governments at all levels are not the only ones responsible for protecting rights. Businesses, non-profit and community organizations, and individuals all have a role to play. The recognition of our shared obligation to ensure all of our rights is at the heart of our social contract… In the language of human rights, we must work towards “progressive realization.” … we need to set effective and meaningful targets and measure if and how our efforts are having an impact.