• Why a Canadian basic income is inevitable

    Ontario’s recently cancelled basic-income pilot project, which intended to provide benefits for adults according to the same model, enrolled more working people than people already receiving income assistance. The need for a steady income among middle-class Canadians is accelerating as the labour-market changes. Silicon Valley hyperbole imagines robots replacing human labour, and that has happened for many factory jobs, but a much more likely outcome is that automation will change the way work is done.

  • Social murder and the Doug Ford government

    In 1845, Friedrich Engels described the phenomena by which working-class residents in Manchester died prematurely because of their living and working conditions. He did not simply label the occurrence as we usually do today: “Premature deaths due to unfortunate circumstances,” but rather coined the term “social murder” to make explicit the source of these premature deaths. This extensive quote from his Condition of the Working Class in England begs careful attention in relation to the austerity agenda of Premier Doug Ford.

  • Ontarians did not sign up for deep cuts in services

    … According to that report [by financial consultants EY Canada and released last week] Ontario could “reconsider application of universality to all programs,” opting instead for “means-testing to selected programs.” … It provides no specifics. But just about the only two services the province provides to Ontarians without a fee, regardless of their income, are health care and public education.

  • Ending the scourge of poverty

    The basic income pilot gained the attention of the international community and Canada because its aim was to eliminate poverty — the scourge of humanity for centuries. This hope was dashed, not because the project failed but because it was terminated before it finished. McLeod did not have hard facts to justify the cancellation; it was done on ideological grounds… the government simply dismissed further discussion by saying the project would “take away the incentive to work” and it did not fit with their vision of the future.

  • Higher minimum wage a boost for health

    Nearly two million people living in poverty in Ontario will suffer if the Doug Ford government follows through with plans to slam the brakes on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in January. A higher minimum wage enables more Ontarians to maintain their health rather than fall prey to illnesses such as malnutrition, diabetes and heart disease, which impose far greater costs in the long run.

  • Minimum wage hike a necessity and must be preserved

    Today, nearly two million people in Ontario will put in a hard day’s work for little money. Their paycheques won’t even cover the basic necessities, so they will likely have to deny themselves and their children of items such as healthy food, medicine, new shoes or books for school — things many of us take for granted.

  • How poverty and precarious work killed a healthy Toronto man

    This man had been depending on odd jobs to meet his basic needs. His casual employers certainly didn’t offer sick days, and he simply couldn’t spare the money he’d lose by missing work to see a doctor. This man died from poverty. He died from precarious, unsafe work. He died from making just one of the many impossible choices that we saddle on people living in poverty: getting the health care that could have saved his life conflicted with a job that had so far allowed him to survive.

  • Provincial spending cuts will take people from bad to worse

    Ontario already has Canada’s lowest per-person program spending, including the lowest per-person investment in health care. There’s a reason school repairs are backlogged and hallway medicine has made a comeback. Now a 15 per cent cut threatens to take people from bad to worse. Already, Ford has cut $330 million a year from mental health and $100 million from school repairs… Working-class people are already struggling with low wages, no benefits and unaffordable everyday life.

  • Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy: Opportunity For All

    The strategy builds on investments made by the Government since 2015 that support children, seniors, lower-wage workers and other vulnerable Canadians, which include: The Canada Child Benefit… The Canada Workers Benefit… Canada’s first National Housing Strategy… The increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement by up to $947 per year… for close to 900,000 low-income seniors; and, Restoration of the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) from 67 to 65.

  • Poverty in Canada: Experiences and Perceptions

    The first part of the study defined and quantified poverty in Canada by asking people whether and how often they have struggled economically. The study created four segments of the population based on the responses… the second part of the study reveals, nearly two-thirds of Canadians believe their federal and provincial governments should be doing more to address poverty (65% and 64% respectively), but public opinion is divided on what policies would be most effective.