• 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.

  • 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.

  • Why millennials are lapping up every tweet and podcast from 94-year-old agitator Harry Leslie Smith

    Smith preaches about preserving democracy and the welfare state, creating a just society and living a life of compassion… he isn’t a politician or political theorist, instead he “speaks from experience in his bones” and delivers life lessons “with moral clarity.” Smith’s message — about how they should expect fair wages, pensions and workplace benefits — is not one that today’s younger generation is accustomed to hearing.

  • Income grows in resource-rich provinces, Ontario and Quebec lag behind

    All told, 4.8 million people in Canada were considered as living in low income in 2015, compared with 4.3 million in 2005. Though the rate was little changed, the poverty shifted among regions and age groups. More seniors are living in low income, while the share of the youngest children in low-income households fell. The rate of seniors in low income climbed to 14.5 per cent from 12 per cent a decade ago. By province, low-income shares… rose to 14.4 per cent from 12.9 per cent.

  • Canadian incomes jump, Ontario residents hit by manufacturing downturn: Statistics Canada

    Canadian incomes have risen by more than 10 per cent over the last decade, fuelled by a booming resource sector, while the number living on low incomes is rising in Ontario where growth has been sluggish, Statistics Canada says… the downturn in the manufacturing sector slowed income growth and the proportion of low-income residents has been on the rise… Across Ontario, 14.4 per cent of residents — some 1.9 million people — were low income in 2015, an increase from 12.9 per cent in 2005.

  • Allan MacEachen, overseer of social reform and skilled politician, dies at 96

    MacEachen was one of Canada’s most powerful cabinet ministers of the postwar era and held a variety of posts, including a term as minister of national health and welfare from 1965-1968 during the creation of medicare. As labour minister, MacEachen was also instrumental in reforming the labour code and establishing a new standard for the minimum wage. His other portfolios also included finance and he twice served as secretary of state for external affairs.

  • Our incomes may have grown, but lower earners are still losing

    The census tells a tale of amazing prosperity for the already well-to-do, with individual incomes for those standing at the top one per cent growing by 48 per cent since 1985… One in seven, that’s also the fraction of Canadians living in what Statistics Canada carefully calls “low income.” … one in seven is exactly the fraction of low-income Canadians recorded in the 2005 census.

  • Rising incomes aren’t being shared as widely as they should

    In fact, the share of Canadians living in low-income households actually increased slightly to 14.2 per cent (that’s 4.8 million people) from 14 per cent in 2005. Seniors fared the worst, with 14.5 per cent living in poverty, up from 12 per cent in the previous decade. And while the percentage of children living in poverty was down slightly to 17.8 from 18.8 per cent, the picture is still alarming.

  • Ontario must toughen law to protect temporary workers

    … as it stands now hiring through temp agencies limits companies’ liability for accidents on the job, reduces their responsibility for making sure that employees’ legal rights are respected, and cuts costs — all at the expense of workers’ safety and earnings. The legislation now before the Ontario legislature does not address these concerns. As a result, the growing trend toward hiring temp workers — creating an increase in precarious work — may continue unabated.

  • End unjust and ineffective practice of academic streaming

    For nearly a quarter century, this policy has done nothing to advance the academic prospects of Ontario students while doing a great deal to reinforce the educational disadvantages experienced by low-income and Black kids. It’s high time to end it… The education system should be a tool for redressing inequities, not compounding them.