• 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Can giving everyone free money reduce the stigma of a guaranteed income?

    Rather than leading to social collapse, the program just helped a small number of people overlooked by or ineligible for the welfare of the 1970s. Governments at that time, the authors point out, had not yet removed the dumbest clawbacks and “welfare traps” from their social programs. The effects on participation from a permanent basic income might be smaller now.

  • Who Do We Think Of as Poor?

    … media professionals tend to portray poverty as if it is rare for anyone but black Americans… [which] can suggest that black suffering is a natural fact rather than a manufactured problem we should correct… it fosters resentment against communities of color from economically struggling whites, who have some reason to feel their hardship is played down. And this all creates a political problem: the obliteration of the common ground that being poor can help illuminate across racial lines

  • It’s time to tear down the “welfare wall” for persons with disabilities

    … plenty can be done by both the federal and provincial/territorial governments to tear down the “welfare wall.” … Ottawa could assume responsibility for income security for persons with disabilities, whether they are working or not… The shift to federal authority would result in a windfall savings to provinces and territories… [which] would help Ottawa achieve its twin goals of poverty reduction and inclusive growth.