• Ottawa should not delay on action to fight poverty

    … much more must be done to ensure EI reflects the shifting reality of work and is adequate to the current cost of living… Some 170,000 households are currently waiting for [public housing] units, with the average wait time at around four years… the day-care situation remains dire. This situation robs too many people, particularly mothers, of the opportunity to work or train… a refundable version of the [disability tax] credit… would be a far more effective tool for helping those with disabilities who need it the most.

  • Liberals Launching Consultations On Poverty Reduction Strategy

    Duclos said the work of the committee, as well as similar consultations being undertaken by a panel of MPs, is needed to finally build a federal vision on poverty reduction… “how it measures it, how it’s going to monitor the progress in reducing it and how it’s going to collaborate with other governments in order to better support our families living in need and to encourage them to enter the middle class. All of that has been missing.”

  • We have a lot better ways to relieve poverty than the outdated ‘guaranteed minimum income’

    … most periods of low-income are relatively short, requiring supports that cannot be well met by tax-based basic income designs… for the minority of low-income people who are persistently poor, the best solutions involve integrated mixes of income and a variety of services — not a stand-alone standardized income benefit, which is not based on individual circumstances and needs.

  • Anti-poverty activists rally behind Hamilton MPP’s social assistance bill

    A local initiative called Fix the Gap has launched a postcard writing campaign and website, among other efforts, to press the Liberal government at Queen’s Park to enact the bill that would set the stage for Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program recipients to receive payments that are more consistent with the cost of living… A key feature of the bill would be establishing an expert panel to clarify differences in the cost of living in different regions of the province.

  • Providing Basic Income Not Best Solution for Poverty

    … aside from their high cost, [GAI programs] do not respond well to new information about the nature of poverty. In particular, most periods of low income are short-lived and often require solutions that are more time-sensitive and more attuned to individual circumstances than is possible in traditional GAI designs. As well, for the minority of low-income people who are persistently poor, the best solutions involve integrated mixes of income supports and, often, a variety of services.

  • The basics of a guaranteed basic income

    … you can either pay everyone the same amount, then tax it back starting with the first dollar of earned income, or you can pay out to those with incomes below that point, and tax those above it — it entails a much heavier gross outlay. And besides, other countries are already testing it… Segal’s model would be limited, at least initially, to replacing the current welfare and disability systems.

  • Cost of poverty in Toronto pegged at $5.5 billion a year

    Poverty in Toronto costs between $4.4 billion and $5.5 billion a year, according to a groundbreaking report on what we all pay in added health care, policing and depressed economic productivity for the city’s 265,000 families living on low incomes… Although the report outlines the cost to society at large, the burden of poverty falls most heavily on those living on low incomes.

  • Food Banks Canada: HungerCount 2016

    The number of people accessing Canadian food banks increased for the third consecutive year in 2016, and is now 28% higher than before the 2008-2009 recession. 863,492 people received food from a food bank in March 2016. 307,535 children are helped each month while children aged 6-11 make up about 6% of the total Canadian population, they make up over 12% of people accessing food banks
    155,756 Canadians in rural communities rely on a food bank every month

  • Proposed basic income pilot would provide monthly payments of at least $1,320

    The no-strings-attached payments would be non-taxable and participants would be allowed to keep a portion of any additional income earned through employment, Segal suggests in “Finding a Better Way: A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario.” Participation would be voluntary and no one would be financially worse off as a result of the pilot, which would include adults between the ages of 18 and 65.

  • Have Patience Policy Analysts, Souls are Stirring [GAI/Basic Income]

    Interest in Basic Income is spreading all over the world, including Canada. A Guaranteed Annual Income (an earlier descriptor) is now federal Liberal party policy. Ontario is moving forward with a Basic Income pilot under the design of longstanding champion, retired Senator Hugh Segal… Spirits are rising. People want to shake things up. They are tired of a welfare system that keeps people poor and provides little hope and no dignity.