• 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.

  • CPP changes will disqualify 243,000 from Guaranteed Income Supplement: report

    Higher CPP benefits mean some low income seniors will no longer qualify for the GIS, a component of the Old Age Security program… unlike CPP, OAS spending must be found from government revenues at a time when demographic change will mean less tax revenue as a share of GDP. “This is going to be a real problem,” he said. “The governments in the future are going to be facing more and more of a constraint.”

  • Focusing on rights can help us eliminate poverty

    Politicians and governments at all levels are not the only ones responsible for protecting rights. Businesses, non-profit and community organizations, and individuals all have a role to play. The recognition of our shared obligation to ensure all of our rights is at the heart of our social contract… In the language of human rights, we must work towards “progressive realization.” … we need to set effective and meaningful targets and measure if and how our efforts are having an impact.

  • A Renewed Voice for Social Canada

    The federal government’s promised poverty reduction strategy must be more than a one-time commitment. It must provide for independent continuing appraisal and reappraisal of where we are and where we need to be, as the economy and society change. This paper proposes that the Government of Canada, as part of its poverty reduction strategy, put in place a new ‘institution’ provisionally called the Canadian Council on Inclusion and Wellbeing.

  • Ontario to change child support law to give adult children with disabilities access to parental cash

    In his precedent-setting decision, Justice William Sullivan agreed with Robyn Coates that Ontario’s Family Law Act discriminates against adult children with disabilities because it denies them access to child support. Under provincial law, which governs unmarried parents, adult children are eligible for child support only if they are in school full-time. But under the federal Divorce Act, an adult child who is unable to live independently due to disability, illness or other cause is also eligible for support as long as they need it.

  • We can’t afford not to provide a new social safety net

    … what people need to begin wrapping their heads around is what happens when the labour market is turned on its head by robotics, throwing tens of millions of people out of work in the process. This is not some dystopian fiction… At this point, however, UBI [universal basic income] remains a deep, utopian fantasy to most people, its future bogged down by eye-rolling cynicism and distrust.

  • Ontario’s ‘basic income’ pilot helps defuse political anger that stems from economic exclusion

    Canada’s existing welfare programs are far too limited. In Ontario, for example, a single adult receives payouts equal to about 45 percent of the poverty line, or approximately $9,000. Existing programs also include dehumanizing micro-eligibility requirements that dilute self-respect, discourage work, and frustrate hardworking caseworkers. They trap people in poverty rather than providing them with a bridge to the economic mainstream.

  • Kathleen Wynne’s basic income plan is bread without circuses

    … it is not clear that it will do much more for the poor. The maximum basic income subsidies — $16,989 for singles and $24,027 for couples — represent just 38 per cent of median income in Ontario adjusted for family size… there is a sense of inevitability to all of this — a feeling that the world of work has changed to such an extent that nothing can be done to keep wages at a viable level and that the only way to avoid social chaos is to subsidize them.

  • Ontario launches basic income pilot for 4,000 in Hamilton, Thunder Bay, Lindsay

    … single adults between the ages of 18 and 64 will receive up to $16,989 annually and couples will receive up to $24,027. People with disabilities will receive an additional $6,000. Single people would have to earn less than about $34,000 to qualify and the income cut-off for couples would be about $48,000… Those on social assistance will be able to keep their drug cards and other benefits. But Employment Insurance and Canada Pension Plan payments will be deducted from the basic income dollar for dollar.

  • A portable housing benefit could ease our homeless crisis

    Here are five reasons why the portable housing benefit is a smart idea: 1. It is the most efficient way to help households in need and address homelessness… 2. It will reduce homelessness… 3. It will reduce poverty… 4. Its portability means it is tied to an individual, rather than a housing unit, giving people choice [and] … 5. It is already working.