• The high cost of Canada’s increasing wealth inequality

    More than 61 per cent of the rise in total household net assets since 2005 is related to real estate… given that real estate has played such a major role in wealth accumulation, policies that make housing more affordable through expanding supply warrant special consideration. Another approach to reducing the wealth gap is increasing financial literacy, since people with greater financial knowledge are more likely to make better decisions with their money.

  • Can the First Nations poverty trap be broken?

    Federal law also limits use of on-reserve property as collateral, severely restricting Indigenous people’s ability to start businesses or get personal loans. If Canada’s current efforts at reconciliation with its First Nations are to bear fruit over the long term, creating a financial system that works for Indigenous populations must be a priority. One solution that could help: Tapping the potential of Canada’s $9.2-billion “impact investing” market.

  • Quebec’s bold new basic income offer: Does it benefit the right people?

    … while bolstering support for those unable to work, Quebec continues to embrace punitive measures for those deemed fit to work, particularly single men… beyond severe physical and mental disabilities, there are many barriers to employment, such as illiteracy, poor education, a criminal record and lack of decent work opportunities… There are many perverse disincentives that keep people trapped on welfare.

  • Quebec to inject $3 billion into anti-poverty program

    Individuals with a limited capacity to work… By 2023… will see their annual government assistance jump from $12,749 to $18,029, which will bring their income up to the poverty threshold. Quebec will pay a total of $1.2 billion to provide them with a basic income (or guaranteed minimum income), separate from rules imposed in the social assistance program. People deemed fit to work will continue to operate under the current social assistance system, with training and job search bonuses subsidized to varying degrees.

  • Find permanent housing for the homeless

    … the answer to homelessness isn’t emergency shelters. It’s ensuring there is affordable accommodation so people don’t find themselves on the doorsteps of emergency shelters or, worse, on the street. To do that the city needs the help of Premier Kathleen Wynne and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Both could immediately begin to ease the city’s chronic housing shortage by funding two programs that are already in the works.

  • Tens of millions in grants targeted for needy students aren’t reaching them

    Tens of millions of dollars earmarked for Ontario’s most vulnerable students, who are poor or new to the country, are instead being used by school boards to cover other costs, the Auditor General of Ontario has found. That’s largely because of an outdated funding formula that leaves boards scrambling to cover shortfalls in areas such as special education and gives them huge discretion in whether they use grants the way they are intended

  • How expanding tax credits would help to lower our country’s welfare wall

    … while the new funding is welcome, the WITB is relatively ineffective in raising the incomes of the working poor, and does not greatly help social-assistance recipients transition to employment. It should be reformed so as to provide a supplement to wages in real time, should provide a higher maximum benefit and should be phased out much more slowly as employment income rises so as to reduce high marginal tax rates for the working poor.

  • The radical ex-hippie who infiltrated Ontario’s health-care establishment

    His improbable trajectory has taken him from firebrand to respected senior hospital executive. Along the way, he has established himself as one of Canada’s strongest advocates for disadvantaged patients… a skilled, hard-working, team-playing professional. He is credited with using his leadership roles to help develop a multitude of programs and services for disenfranchised patients. But when conventional means of addressing gaps in their care didn’t work, a different Philip Berger would emerge

  • Federal government looks to provinces for billions to support housing plan

    The main new initiative announced on Wednesday is a $4-billion Canada Housing Benefit, which would provide rent support for about 300,000 low-income households and would begin in 2020. Ottawa expects the provinces to cover half of the cost… Ottawa is also responding to one of the most pressing concerns raised by Canada’s cities, offering $4.8-billion to address the fact that many long-standing social-housing agreements with Ottawa were scheduled to expire over the coming years.

  • Ontario urged to make ending child poverty an election issue

    Children and families who are Indigenous, racialized, newcomers, living with disabilities or in lone-parent, female-led households experience much higher rates of poverty, according to the 2016 census… almost 16 per cent of children in Canada were living in poverty in 1989 when Parliament unanimously pledged to end child poverty by 2000. But due to lack of federal action on the promise, child poverty in Canada rose to 22.3 per cent in 2000.