PEF home page and weblog
This week I am attending a conference entitled “Welfare Reform in Canada: Provincial Social Assistance in Comparative Perspective,” organized by Professor Daniel Béland. The focus of the conference is “social assistance,” which typically encompasses both last-resort social assistance (i.e. ‘welfare’) and disability benefits. In Ontario, the former is known as Ontario Works and the latter [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under child benefits, income support, Indigenous people, labour market, migrant workers, poverty, progressive economic strategies, Role of government, skill shortages, social policy, temporary workers, training.
October 24th, 2013
This afternoon, I gave a presentation on public policy responding to homelessness in Canada, with a focus on the past decade. I gave the presentation at this year’s annual conference of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association. Points I made in the presentation include the following: -Once inflation is accounted for, the current annual value of [...]
Statistics Canada recently released new data on the incomes of Canadians and it shows two worrisome trends continuing through the economic recovery: BC has the highest poverty rate in Canada and the highest child poverty rate (tied with Manitoba); and Ordinary families haven’t had a raise since 2008 – family incomes in the middle continue [...]
The story of child poverty in Canada is very much an urban story. One out of every 10 children living in urban areas was poor in 2010, compared to one in 20 children living in non-urban areas. Three quarters (or 76%) of all poor children in Canada lived in one of the urban centres shown [...]
A version of this article appeared today in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab. (This version includes references to the debate plus charts and graphs from data specially tabulated from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey. The data don’t include the self-employed.) President Obama put the idea of raising the minimum wage on the radar in [...]
This article was published in an abridged form today in the National Post. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/12/21/armine-yalnizyan-sorry-andrew-coyne-but-income-inequality-is-a-real-problem/ I like this opening better so I posted it here. You couldn’t have made it through 2012 without running into a story about income inequality. Chances are, it made you think about how you fit into the story. That’s “entirely constructive”, [...]
Last May federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said there was no such thing as a bad job. The Law Commission of Ontario may disagree. This week it put out a report about the rise in vulnerable workers and precarious jobs. Now that he’s heard from executives who think Canadians are paid too much, Mr. Flaherty [...]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under Conservative government, employment, employment standards, human rights, immigration, income, labour market, migrant workers, minimum wage, Ontario, poverty, Role of government, women.
August 17th, 2012
A new report by the Canadian Medical Association provides a timely reminder that money buys better health, even in a country with a universal public healthcare system. A poll commissioned by the CMA found a large and increasing gap between the health status of Canadians in lower income groups (household income less than $30,000) and [...]
There’s a fascinating new report from the Centre for the Study of Living Standards that calculates Human Development Index (HDI) scores for all of Canada’s provinces and territories. Here’s the citation: The Human Development Index in Canada: Estimates for the Canadian Provinces and Territories, 2000-2011, by Elspeth Hazell, Kar-Fai Gee, and Andrew Sharpe (Ottawa: Centre [...]
The government of Prince Edward Island has introduced a Social Action Plan to Reduce Poverty, found online at PEI CSS. This Action Plan follows community consultations, including face-to-face meetings and written submissions by community groups. The government of PEI seems to take very seriously a Social Determinants of Health approach to poverty reduction, and so [...]
Last week I was in Whitehorse where I released a peer-reviewed policy report on poverty in Yukon. The report was part of the much larger Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada project. Report findings include the following: -Ignoring poverty can be quite costly, as has been clearly demonstrated by research on the ‘costs of [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Canada's North, child benefits, Conservative government, fiscal federalism, health care, housing, income support, Indigenous people, inequality, minimum wage, poverty, Quebec, social policy, wealth, women, Yukon.
May 27th, 2012
The following is another excerpt from Dr. Ryan Meili’s new book, A Healthy Society: How a Focus on Health Can Revive Canadian Democracy, which fellow blogger Greg Fingas has been discussing. The road to Tevele is red sand and sloppy in the rainy season. The pick- up truck bounces in and out of ruts as [...]
On CBC’s The National last night, Rex Murphy weighed in on Quebec’s student protests; the transcript can be found here, and the three-minute video here. He calls the protests “short sighted,” points out that Quebec already has the lowest tuition fees in Canada, and suggests the students’ actions are “crude attempts at precipitating a crisis.” He [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under education, fiscal federalism, housing, Newfoundland and Labrador, post-secondary education, poverty, Quebec, social indicators, social policy, student debt, student movement, user fees, young workers.
April 20th, 2012
Last Monday, BC teachers held a Day of Action in communities across the province to protest the BC government’s decision to legislate a contract and put an end to their collective bargaining process. I was invited to speak to teachers at the Surrey rally, where I had the opportunity to share some of my analysis [...]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under BC, budgets, economic growth, education, employment, income distribution, inequality, poverty, public services, recession, social policy, taxation, unions, user fees, wages.
March 4th, 2012
John Stapleton has an opinion piece out on Prime Minister Harper’s proposed changes to Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). I find the following quote from Stapleton to be particularly troubling: By providing OAS and GIS at age 65, Canada has greatly reduced the incidence of poverty among seniors. By moving the [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Conservative government, CPP, demographics, fiscal federalism, income support, Old Age Security, older workers, pensions, population aging, poverty, retirement, seniors, social policy.
February 19th, 2012
Canadian Press have put out a story based on a research paper by Richard Shillington which was commissioned by HRSDC from Informetrica, and obtained by the CLC through an Access to Information request. Receiving OAS is required to makes seniors eligible for the GIS top up, which provides one in three seniors with a supplement [...]
To reprise a now topical earlier blog, hiking the age of eligibility for OAS will have the biggest impact by far on future seniors who are in low income. Many if not most of this group are unable to work due to disability or ill health. If the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS [...]
Raising the age of eligibility for Old Age Security/Guaranteed Income Supplement (OAS/GIS) benefits is the worst possible way to deal with the retirement income security crisis facing Canadians. Experts such as former Assistant Chief Statistician Michael Wolfson project that one half of all middle income baby boomers face a severe cut to their living standards [...]
December marked the three-year anniversary of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. While I believe there is much to celebrate, much remains to be done. The Strategy surprised a lot of observers, especially in light of the fact that it was announced in December 2008, just as Ontario was entering a recession. Its focus was almost exclusively [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under child benefits, Conservative government, corporate income tax, early learning, economic crisis, education, fiscal federalism, fiscal policy, housing, income support, income tax, Indigenous people, inequality, minimum wage, Ontario, poverty, progressive economic strategies, recession, social indicators, social policy, taxation, unemployment.
January 8th, 2012
Last week, I was in Yellowknife, where I released results of new research on affordable housing in the Northwest Territories (NWT). The research project was sponsored by the Social Economy Research Network of Northern Canada, and was a collaboration with the Centre for Northern Families. Research findings include the following: -Housing indicators suggest that the [...]
Last weekend, I spoke on a panel at the Annual Conference of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association. The panel was inspired in large part by the recent debate in Toronto over Mayor Rob Ford’s attempt to sell social housing units to private buyers. The panel, entitled “To Privatize or Not to Privatize? That is the question,” included myself, Vince Brescia (President and CEO [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under capitalism, cities, housing, Ontario, P3s, poverty, prices, privatization, public infrastructure, public services, Role of government, social policy, Toronto.
November 5th, 2011
Today CCPA released a new Climate Justice Project report, Fighting Energy Poverty in the Transition to Zero-Emission Housing: A Framework for BC, by yours truly, Eugene Kung (a lawyer with the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre and a steering committee member of the CJP) and Jason Owen (who worked on this project as a student at UBC, now with the [...]
Pollsters tell us that Ontario’s New Democrats may double their seat total in next month’s provincial election. It’s also entirely conceivable that they could be part of a coalition government at Queen’s Park. But what’s actually in the party’s election platform? One central feature of the NDP’s proposals is to implement a tax credit for companies that hire new workers. The tax [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under climate change, corporate income tax, education, employment, energy, environment, fiscal policy, health care, housing, HST, income distribution, income support, income tax, investment, minimum wage, NDP, Nova Scotia, Ontario Election 2011, party politics, post-secondary education, poverty, progressive economic strategies, public services, public transit, social democracy, social policy, socialism, super-rich, taxation, user fees, wealth.
September 20th, 2011
Last week, the CCPA released a paper by David Macdonald and Erika Shaker entitled Under Pressure: The Impact of Rising Tuition Fees on Ontario Families. The paper does a good job of explaining which households have been most impacted by rising tuition fees in Ontario. Points made in the paper include the following: -In light of [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under debt, education, household debt, inequality, Ontario, post-secondary education, poverty, social policy, student debt, student movement, user fees, young workers.
September 3rd, 2011
Earlier today, Elections BC announced the much anticipated HST referendum results. British Columbians have voted to scrap the HST. The best part about having the results is that now we can move on from the narrow issue of what type of sales tax is better and focus our energies on some of the bigger issues [...]
A recent cbc.ca article reports on plans by Quebec student groups to protest planned tuition hikes by the Charest government. Over a five-year period, Quebec’s Liberal government plans to increase tuition by roughly 75 percent. The article notes that tuition levels in Quebec are currently among the lowest in Canada. But as I’ve blogged about [...]
An article in the current edition of NOW Magazine looks at social assistance in Ontario. The article is aptly entitled “Poverty Pariah,” in light of how apparently unpopular Ontario’s welfare system has become over the past 20 years. As can be seen at the National Council of Welfare’s Interactive Welfare Incomes Map, a single adult [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under food, guaranteed annual income, housing, human rights, income distribution, income support, inequality, minimum wage, NDP, Ontario, poverty, progressive economic strategies, recession, social policy.
July 24th, 2011
We’ve known for a long time that we all pay for poverty. We just didn’t know how much. This is the question I investigate in my latest CCPA report The Cost of Poverty in BC. If you’re not in the mood for reading the report, you can watch a short video that summarizes the findings [...]
BC Stats put out a release yesterday with the headline “Low Income Cut-Offs (LICOs) are a Poor Measure of Poverty” and author Dan Schrier gets in a dirty hit right in first paragraph: Despite protestations from Statistics Canada that LICOs are not meant to be used as a measure of poverty, there are many groups [...]
I have an opinion piece in today’s Toronto Star regarding Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford, and the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC). Mr. Ford would like to see a considerable number of units from TCHC’s existing stock sold off. For background on the issue, please my blog post of April 13, which can be found here. In today’s piece, I [...]