“Urban camping” not the problem

Homeless seek safety and community in numbers in “tent cities” Tonight, an increasing number of Canadians face the prospect of sleeping in a tent — not to welcome the summer camping season, but as a last resort. Unlike regulated campgrounds, “tent cities” are without electricity, water and often bathrooms. These makeshift encampments appear to be […]

Saskatchewan budget misses opportunity on rental housing assistance

In the recent Saskatchewan budget, the Moe government made the surprise announcement that it would slowly phase out a rental housing assistance program known as the Saskatchewan Rental Housing Supplement. Given current rental housing market realities, the government ought to have done the complete opposite and expanded the program. That’s because high vacancy rates create […]

Safe, secure and affordable housing is a health issue

When you’re feeling unwell, whether from a minor cold or a devastating terminal illness, the feeling of home, the desire for a safe and comfortable place to rest and recuperate, is a universal one. But what if your home itself is a source of stress and illness?

Saskatoon’s housing crisis Is a health emergency

Recently, a disturbing photo of five people sleeping in a Saskatoon bank lobby became headline news and filled social media feeds.

Arrested for Sleeping?

As humans, we need to sleep. It is a biologically unavoidable act. Yet, on both sides of the border, “sleeping” can be considered a criminal act, especially if you are homeless and have no place to rest your head other than in public spaces such as parks.

Extreme weather events hit most vulnerable

Just off a bustling urban street, in the heart of a middle class Canadian community, I came upon an elderly man wilting in the low lying shrubs, mere feet from heavy traffic and visibility. He appeared unconscious, perhaps brought on by the searing summer temperatures that had pushed the mercury above 30 degrees Celsius.

How to make the social determinants of health matter

Recently, I was fortunate to attend the Global Symposium on the Role of Physicians and National Medical Associations in Addressing Health Equity and the Social Determinants of Health held in London, England. The meeting was organized by the Canadian, British and World Medical Associations and had, among other goals, an agenda to assist public health pioneer Sir Michael Marmot in making such issues central to his upcoming role as president of the World Medical Association.

Why one of Canada’s big banks is calling for greater income equality

A moneylender sees the light, discovering a spirit of giving and generosity. It’s a classic Christmas tale of redemption — and redistribution — but this year the convert in question appears to be one of Canada’s biggest banks.