• Quebec’s bold new basic income offer: Does it benefit the right people?

    … while bolstering support for those unable to work, Quebec continues to embrace punitive measures for those deemed fit to work, particularly single men… beyond severe physical and mental disabilities, there are many barriers to employment, such as illiteracy, poor education, a criminal record and lack of decent work opportunities… There are many perverse disincentives that keep people trapped on welfare.

  • Quebec to inject $3 billion into anti-poverty program

    Individuals with a limited capacity to work… By 2023… will see their annual government assistance jump from $12,749 to $18,029, which will bring their income up to the poverty threshold. Quebec will pay a total of $1.2 billion to provide them with a basic income (or guaranteed minimum income), separate from rules imposed in the social assistance program. People deemed fit to work will continue to operate under the current social assistance system, with training and job search bonuses subsidized to varying degrees.

  • How expanding tax credits would help to lower our country’s welfare wall

    … while the new funding is welcome, the WITB is relatively ineffective in raising the incomes of the working poor, and does not greatly help social-assistance recipients transition to employment. It should be reformed so as to provide a supplement to wages in real time, should provide a higher maximum benefit and should be phased out much more slowly as employment income rises so as to reduce high marginal tax rates for the working poor.

  • Ontario urged to make ending child poverty an election issue

    Children and families who are Indigenous, racialized, newcomers, living with disabilities or in lone-parent, female-led households experience much higher rates of poverty, according to the 2016 census… almost 16 per cent of children in Canada were living in poverty in 1989 when Parliament unanimously pledged to end child poverty by 2000. But due to lack of federal action on the promise, child poverty in Canada rose to 22.3 per cent in 2000.

  • Liberal government urged to be more aggressive in tackling poverty

    The most recent international rankings of 41 developed nations shows Canada lags behind its peers in several areas related to poverty reduction. The UNICEF report placed Canada near the bottom in terms of global goals to end poverty in all its forms and ending hunger. Statistics Canada’s latest census data revealed that 1.2 million Canadian children lived in a low-income household in 2015, representing 17 per cent of all children.

  • You know, there’s a reason no one’s put in a guaranteed annual income yet

    The idea of a “guarantee” is uncontroversial enough: we’ve already accepted that Canadians are entitled to a certain minimal standard of living. Why not make that implicit guarantee an explicit one? … Unless you’re willing to advocate for a drastic increase in taxes, the responsible thing to do is abandon the impossible GAI dream and focus on what is possible with current levels of tax revenues.

  • There is a prescription for poverty’s punishing impact on health in Ontario

    One of the reasons poverty is expensive is because people living in poverty have higher rates of chronic disease, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Children in low-income families are at higher risk of diagnosed mental health problems, nutritional deficiencies, asthma and injury… Aside from being inadequate, our social assistance programs are dysfunctional… With the cost of poverty at more than $32 billion per year in Ontario, we can’t afford to continue with the same flawed system…

  • Why the history of poverty keeps repeating itself

    Allocating too much money for welfare risks antagonizing other voters who fret about waste or dependency. And who want their own needs and entitlements taken care of first — like hydro rate reductions, child-care subsidies, or middle class tax cuts… Logic (and humanity) demands a single, simple, basic income program that consolidates the tangle of existing rules into a more coherent and cost-effective form of social support, now being tested in a pilot program in parts of the province.

  • Time to act on poverty [ODSP]

    Currently, for every dollar earned over $200 a month while on Ontario Disability Supports (ODSP) there is a reduction in benefits by 50 per cent. Instead, why not allow ODSP recipients to earn up to the agreed-on poverty income level before the reduction begins? This will cost the government nothing, provides a huge incentive to work and will raise the standard of living for those currently receiving the government pittance.

  • Ontario should move quickly on welfare benefits

    For a group so fond of proclaiming its commitment to social justice, the Wynne government has done remarkably little to help some of the very poorest people in Ontario… The report given to Jaczek last week recommends increasing that basic amount by 24 per cent over the next three years, to $893 by the year 2020. This is the minimum the government should do. It would still leave tens of thousands of people living in state-sanctioned poverty…