Homelessness and health in Toronto

A dispatch from Nick Falvo, the winner of the undergraduate prize in the 2007 PEF essay contest. Nick works for Street Health in Toronto, and speaks to a newly released report: In 1992, Street Health conducted a groundbreaking research study on homeless people’s health and access to health care. The updated 2007 study finds that the shocking rates of violence, […]

Read more

More on the Olympics and poverty in Vancouver

My office window looks out over Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, an area notorious for being Canada’s poorest postal code. Back when Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Olympics, we pointed out that the world’s media would be stationed just ten minutes walk away from truly abject poverty, and when the cameras started rolling, it may not be gorgeous mountain backdrops they would […]

Read more

Poverty and Recent Immigrants

Human Resources and Social Development Canada have posted a research report http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/publications_resources/research/categories/inclusion/2007/sp_680_05_07_e/sp_680_05_07e.pdf It is no secret or surprise that new immigrants (86% of whom are workers of colour) face more significant labour market barriers than other working-age Canadians, and that they are at greater risk of experiencing poverty. But more empirical detail is always useful. This study uses StatsCan (SLID) […]

Read more

Competitiveness Meets Poverty and Inequality

On Monday, Ontario’s Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity released a paper entitled, Prosperity, Inequality, and Poverty. As Andrew Sharpe pointed out in a review of Jack Mintz’s book, free-market “policy entrepreneurs” often completely ignore the distributional consequences of their recommendations. The Institute deserves credit for trying to grapple with distributional issues (and also for quoting Sharpe extensively). The Institute observes […]

Read more

Homelessness prevention

The August issue of the Journal of Primary Prevention is dedicated to articles on homelessness, addictions and mental illness. It has a US focus but many of the problems will be familiar to Canadians, too. A guest editorial (pdf) kicks off the issue by scoping out the problem, with a good summary of studies on the hidden financial costs to […]

Read more

Almost One in Ten Canadians Experience Food Insecurity

Some sobering data from the Canadian Community Health Survey http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/surveill/nutrition/commun/income_food_sec-sec_alim_e.html#lex It is recognized that “food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” (Food and Agriculture Organization 1996).  This report reflects the characteristics of food […]

Read more

The hidden costs of homelessness

are high, according to a new report, summarized by Gordon Laird in the Toronto Star: According to a new report from the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership, Shelter: Homelessness in a Growth Economy, homelessness is costing Canadian taxpayers $4.5 billion to $6 billion a year. Canada in 2007 collectively spends more managing homelessness than it spends on international […]

Read more

Business Week: The Poverty Business

While William Watson and Margaret Wente are shrugging their shoulders at growing inequality in Canada, and endorsing policies that would make our income distribution more like that of our southern neighbour, concerns in the US about rising inequality are actually getting a better hearing. An example is the following article in Business Week (The Poverty Business: Inside U.S. companies’ audacious […]

Read more

Consumer Tax Index

Crawl Across the Ocean, which has infrequent but excellent posts, features an amusing and accurate critique of the Fraser Institute’s “Consumer Tax Index.”   MORE (April 29): In particular, this critique points out that the political right defines “essential” very narrowly when measuring poverty or railing about taxes, but very broadly when limiting the right to strike.

Read more

Vancouver’s housing challenge

The story below was the banner headline piece on page one of today’s Vancouver Sun, and is a perfect choice for the “we told you so” file. Three years ago, after being awarded the 2010 Olympics, our BC Solutions Budget (and in subsequent editions) made many of the same points as the Olympics Housing Roundtable’s soon-to-be-released report. This report, and […]

Read more

Three-quarters of a million homeless in USA

There is an astonishingly large underclass in the world’s richest nation: Gov’t estimates 754,000 homeless people By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press The nation has three-quarters of a million homeless people, filling emergency shelters through the year and spilling into special seasonal shelters in the coldest months, the government said Wednesday. The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated there were […]

Read more

A tax benefit for the working poor?

This story in the Star points at (another) re-announcement of the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB), a Canadian version of the US Earned Income Tax Credit first announced by then-finance minister Ralph Goodale in his economic and fiscal update prior to the last election. In the 2006 federal budget, the Tories announced they were continuing with the WITB, due to […]

Read more

Drug policy and maintenance programs

Vancouver is suffering from a plague of poverty, homelessness, drug addiction, mental health issues and crime. The good news is that all of these are inter-related, and that senior governments have the funds to make a difference. So with the Olympics coming is just three years, the political culture of neglect is showing signs of activism. Vancouver’s Mayor Sam Sullivan […]

Read more

Poverty in Canada and its Newspapers

As Marc noted, the Toronto Star is waging a journalistic “war on poverty”. The editorial in Monday’s National Post chastised “The Toronto Star’s poverty scam” for using the Low-Income Cut-Off, a relative measure, as an indicator of poverty. Today’s National Post includes the following letter from yours truly: In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, the founder of free-market economics, wrote, […]

Read more

Toronto Star: Waging war on poverty

The latest from the Toronto Star “war on poverty” series. Here is David Olive:   A constant state of dread TheStar.com – News – A constant state of dread If the poor weren’t so conveniently invisible, maybe we’d come to our moral senses and devise a national strategy for eliminating poverty. But the one in six Canadians trapped in poverty […]

Read more

Philanthropy and the super-rich

Philosopher Peter Singer asks what the super-rich should give in order to reduce global poverty. Drawing on Piketty and Saez, Singer finds that doing the right thing would barely be noticeable to their standard of living. From New York Times Magazine: What Should a Billionaire Give – and What Should You? By PETER SINGER December 17, 2006 The rich … […]

Read more

Poor Thinking: Neil Reynolds on Measuring Poverty

Neil Reynolds is at it again in today’s Report on Business (not available on line), defining poverty out of existence by questioning the reliability of standard statistical measures. His main point in a somewhat confused argument is that poverty rates are over-stated by conventional income-based measures such as the LICO. Reynolds argues that the poor – according to consumption surveys […]

Read more

New Report Card on Child Poverty in Canada

http://www.campaign2000.ca/rc/index.html Campaign 2000 have released a new report card based mainly on some number crunching by the Canadian Council on Social Development.  Among the more interesting findings: The child poverty rate has been essentially unchanged over the past three years (2001- 2004), (and indeed gradually rising by the most commonly used post tax LICO measure). It remains well above the […]

Read more

Fighting crime through social services

Another piece for the “ounce of prevention” file. Poverty, homelessness and crime in BC have gotten bad enough that business leaders are starting to call for action. Thus far, the call has been more cosmetic, as in “get these bums out of my doorway” and “panhandlers are bad for tourism”, but it is a start, I suppose. Now the Premier’s […]

Read more

Housing first

The Globe and Mail is running a series on homelessness in BC (at least, in its BC edition). Mark Hume reiterates the case for supportive housing arrangements to get people off the streets into a place where they can stabilize their lives. It would be highly advisable for senior governments to get back into the housing game, as the market […]

Read more

Time to raise welfare rates

SFU economist Jon Kesselman makes the links between rising homelessness and BC’s abysmal welfare rates in this commentary from the Vancouver Sun: A whole $6! Every day!   Imagine that you wake up each morning with six dollars burning a hole in your pocket. Let’s see: How might you spend your money? Maybe contemplate breakfast, a midday meal and supper […]

Read more

A critical look at microcredit

So why is it that microcredit is as celebrated on the right as the left? wondered someone in the comments to a recent post on Muhammad Yunus, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Certainly, it has appeal in elite circles because it reinforces the storyline of hard-working people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps through grit and entrepreneurship. Focus on […]

Read more

For whom the Nobel tolls (a real one)

Some econo-bloggers have been having fun with the fact that Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and father of micro-credit, won the Nobel Peace Prize. Yunus, an economist who would not be shortlisted for the (kind of) Nobel Prize in Economics, wins a real one instead. I saw Yunus speak in Ottawa over ten years ago, and he was […]

Read more

Policies for the working poor

The Toronto Star’s Thomas Walkom looks at the choices we make that keep the poor, um, poor. Walkom looks only at the working poor, not the welfare poor. If we add to the pile the numerous regressive reforms to provincial welfare programs the picture is even uglier. There’s much we can do to combat poverty Enforcing current laws would help […]

Read more

Ireland’s anti-poverty strategy

Remember a few years ago when Ireland was the talk of the chattering classes seeking to get big corporate tax cuts (they succeeded). Left unsaid at the time was that Ireland was the beneficiary of billions of euros in transfers in support of infrastructure, and that Ireland itself invested heavily in its education system (including free post-secondary education), and that […]

Read more

Who Benefits from Earned Income Tax Credits?

The last federal Liberal Budget promised to introduce a tax credit to supplement the incomes of the working poor, and this commitment was re-iterated in the first Conservative Budget. The recent Toronto-based task force on Modernizing Income Security for Working Age Adults advocated such a supplement, and this widely-publicized proposal has been taken up by several of the leading federal […]

Read more
1 5 6 7 8