• A gift to Canada: Lifting people out of poverty benefits us all

    Pervasive poverty has a negative impact on us all – it affects children, their nutrition, and their ability to learn and grow; it makes our communities less inclusive; it drives up costs for health care and infrastructure; and it limits our country’s economic growth and competitiveness… We also believe in the critical importance of public policy as a driver of social change… strategy must address four key themes – prosperity, opportunity, inclusion and reconciliation.

  • Ottawa continues to fail Indigenous children

    Between 1870 and 1996, more than 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were shipped off to residential schools as the centrepiece of a policy of “aggressive assimilation” of Indigenous peoples. A more accurate description is state-sanctioned cultural genocide. Somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 children sent to residential schools died, and many more were victims of physical, mental and sexual abuse.

  • Province must bridge gap between affluent and needy schools

    One of the biggest barriers to equity, the group found, is fundraising. As the study points out, schools from richer neighbourhoods have a huge advantage with some able to raise up to $200,000 a year while others in poorer neighbourhoods couldn’t raise anything… Forty-eight per cent of elementary schools reported fundraising for learning resources such as computers, art supplies or other products or upgrades that clearly tilt the educational playing field.

  • Four Principles that Can End Chronic Homelessness

    … success rested on four critical interventions: permanent supportive housing; rapid rehousing; a Housing First approach; and not criminalizing people experiencing homelessness… 70 communities, including Bergen, invested in a “problem-solving toolkit” designed to offer flexible solutions that respond to evolving challenges… The toolkit offers solutions based on four categories: data analytics; human-centred design; quality improvement; and facilitation.

  • Common misconceptions about homelessness

    First, we should move away from a standard housing policy toward a person-centered approach that responds to individuals’ needs. We should recognize that people who are homeless often have networks; someone may not have a home but may still have a home neighbourhood… Second, we need to integrate harm reduction approaches into housing policies…

  • To solve Canada’s social housing problem, we should look to Britain’s privatization schemes

    … the needy would be able to rent newly-built, city-owned houses at subsidized rates for a fixed period of 10 to 15 years. The houses would then be offered for sale at a discount, with the tenants having first dibs at becoming owners of their own homes — something that is beyond reach for most renters… tenants will be likely to set aside the money they’ll need for the ultimate down payment 10 or 15 years hence, invest in their property’s upkeep, and develop a commitment to the safety of the neighbourhoods

  • Tory should commit city money to fixing the social housing problem, then ask the province for help

    “The time for action is now. In fact it was before now, because repairing social housing is a moral, economic and social imperative,” Tory said last week. Really? Why, then, do you not increase the city’s allocation of funds to repair the damaged buildings? Why are you promoting a freeze in property taxes instead of a dedicated 1 or 2 per cent increase to build a fund that stops the closures?

  • Basic income reform would need more taxes: OECD

    Welfare reforms that would introduce public payment of an unconditional basic income to everyone of working age are worth exploring but would do little to combat poverty if not financed by extra tax, the OECD said… if existing benefit systems were abolished and the funds used to pay an unconditional, flat-rate payment for all of working age, the payout would be lower than many welfare beneficiaries currently receive.

  • Basic income hailed as way to give people chance to chase their dreams

    “What if the people who were most at risk — people from low-income and marginalized communities who are living day to day with real challenges — were able to become social entrepreneurs?” … As Ontario embarks on a basic income pilot project that would pay low-income individuals up to $16,989 annually with no strings attached, there is a chance to broaden the social innovation playing field…

  • Don’t let social housing crumble

    … allowing the corporation’s units to keep deteriorating and be shut down would lead to higher health-care spending, rising crime and a host of other social costs… investing in repairs would create thousands of jobs, spur private investment, and generate billions of extra dollars in federal and provincial taxes. For both social and economic reasons, the provincial and federal governments must commit money for much-needed repairs before this crisis deepens.