• Canada needs a bigger change in pension system

    Defined benefit pension plans like the one at Sears have been declining for many years, at least in the private sector… part of the problem is greedy corporations… But… private pension plans are struggling because of more fundamental issues. Retirees are living much longer and interest rates have been at record lows for years. That forces companies to make up the shortfall at a time when they may be fighting for their very survival.

  • Expanding CPP is best way to protect pensions

    In a targeted benefit plan, the employer agrees only to try to provide predictable pensions. If it can’t, pensioners will get less than they were promised… outside of the public sector, there is little hope for real company pension plans. Their time has come and gone… Changing the bankruptcy laws to put pensioners at the front of the queue, as both the New Democrats and Bloc Québécois suggest, is a fine idea. But it doesn’t deal with the fact that the company pension plan such a move would protect is a thing of the past.

  • Ottawa aims to continue anti-poverty measures in 2018

    Further moves aimed at low-income Canadians are expected to be announced soon as part of a new, multibillion-dollar national housing strategy… Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos, suggested that more anti-poverty measures could be announced in the 2018 budget… “However, the poverty-reduction strategy itself will be announced after Budget 2018″

  • 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.