• What good is a poverty reduction strategy?

    … a poverty reduction strategy certainly is budgets, programs and monies spent… But whether you are poor, rich or middle-class, this is not good enough. A poverty reduction strategy must also be a set of priorities that reflect our concerns; priorities that are paired with measurable targets allowing Canadians to plot a path to somewhere better… It is a way of holding our governments to account, because it puts the focus on the connection between actions and results.

  • Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

    The government wants to reduce the rate of poverty in Canada by 20 per cent from 2015 levels by the end of the current decade, which would require almost 850,000 fewer people living in poverty in 2020 compared to five years earlier… the target increases to 50 per cent by 2030 — a decline of 2.1 million people, including just over 534,000 children under age 18… Absent any new spending, the government is likely to promote efforts to better co-ordinate existing and promised federal programs, as well as better tracking of their impact.

  • It’s time for politicians to take food insecurity and poverty seriously

    One of the biggest challenges in effectively tackling poverty is that we have made it the responsibility of charity. Our over reliance on food banks and corporate food charity as our default response has proven ineffective at achieving long-term change. Also consider that 21 per cent of food banks report having had to turn people away because there was no food to give out. We need to focus on food as a human right and building a food system that includes the elimination of poverty and food insecurity.

  • If Ontario won’t see sense, Ottawa should save the basic income pilot

    It’s possible that this project, costing $50 million a year, will actually save money by reducing health-care costs, enabling people to improve their education and ultimately get decent jobs, so they won’t need ongoing government support. But the fledgling Ford government has cancelled the program before we can find out. Promise broken… The Ford government itself barely seems to know why it decided to kill the pilot. In fact, the reasons given for the broken promise grow more absurd with every sitting of the legislature.

  • Ford government vows basic-income pilot will receive ‘lengthy runway’ before cancellation

    “I have been very clear since last week that the basic-income research project will wind down and details will be forthcoming, but I have been clear that there will be a lengthy and compassionate runway,” Ms. MacLeod told reporters at Queen’s Park. She said she would “provide those details in the next week or two.”

  • Who really rides the gravy train? Not those who were on basic income

    The same week that the basic income project was scuttled, a new report outlined how wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few Canadians, how those fortunes are amassed over generations, and how the country’s tax system helps protect and enlarge those fortunes… “In general, Canada’s tax system is set up to encourage concentration of wealth at the very top,” the report says. That includes a lack of tax on inheritances, low taxes on capital gains and an acceptance of tax-avoiding loopholes. These too are government handouts; we’re just trained not to think of them that way.

  • Doug Ford’s social assistance cuts put Ontario’s health at risk

    … our hearts collectively sank as Premier Doug Ford’s Conservatives announced devastating changes to Ontario’s social assistance program… As physicians, we know that income is strongly tied to health. People in poverty have shorter life expectancies and are more likely to suffer from mental illness, addiction, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes… Poverty also has major impacts on our health-care system as a whole, costing an estimated $32 billion yearly in Ontario due to increased use of health services, social assistance, justice services, and lost productivity.

  • Save Ontario’s basic income pilot, advocates urge Ottawa

    MacLeod said she killed the project because it isn’t sufficiently aligned with the Ford government’s focus on moving people on welfare into jobs. However, 70 per cent of participants were already working when they enrolled, but earned too little to pay rent and buy food… One of the research goals was to see what happens when low-wage, precarious workers receive a financial top-up. That’s information any government concerned about vulnerable populations should value, Regehr said. “Poverty, insecurity, precarious employment don’t stop at provincial and territorial borders,” she said. “This matters hugely. This isn’t just about Ontario.”

  • ‘I may end up homeless again’: Six Ontarians talk about their life before, after and, once again, without basic income

    Close to 1,000 Hamiltonians are being left in the lurch after the new Progressive Conservative government announced it is scrapping a basic income pilot program less than one year after it launched… The Hamilton Spectator spoke to six people enrolled in the basic income program, which cost $50 million a year, and heard from several others about what the project meant to them… [and] what’s next?

  • Doug Ford speaks ‘For the People’ – just not low-income people

    … for this particular brand of Progressive Conservatives, “fairness” or “the people” are terms that exclude the 10 per cent of Ontarians who live below the poverty line… Has Lisa MacLeod defined Ford Nation conservatism as the ultimate in exclusionary “avoid the evidence” public policy? Premier Ford deserves better. And so do Ontarians… The pilot project was testing an approach that treated those below the poverty line with respect, as human beings who can manage their own lives.