Social assistance programs in Canada falling behind

Poverty is linked to poor health outcomes Public health researchers have long known that poverty and poor health are linked, but new evidence suggests that social assistance — the government system designed to provide those in poverty with income support — is not succeeding at protecting health. Using data from national government surveys, we studied […]

“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 […]

Time for an official poverty line

Poverty is hard to measure.  There are many aspects beside living on low income, including having disabilities or costly health problems, not being able to find decent housing, not being able to understand and communicate in an environment with increasing technological and legal complexity and being unable to find nutritious food at reasonable prices. Still, […]

Winnipeg will soon open a ‘wet shelter’

Tailoring a program to tackle homelessness and alcoholism saves lives   Maybe it’s time we woke up and realized that how we’ve been dealing with a certain segment of homeless people in this city just isn’t working. You probably know the ones I mean: you pass by them if you walk downtown on your way […]

Ending Homelessness in Canada

Dr. Jino Distasio of the University of Winnipeg discusses the systemic problems that contribute to homelessness in Canada — and the local and national efforts required to stop the revolving door of homelessness.   Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Where there is too much, something is missing

When I was an economics student many years ago, the last living student of John Maynard Keynes and noted economist Joan Robinson gave a lecture to a packed hall.  During the question period, one smart aleck student asked, “Why should anyone study economics?”  After a prolonged pause, her answer was simple, “So you know when […]

“What happens to our sons and daughters with disabilities when we die?”

Fix the RDSP and close the poverty gap of Canadians with disabilities   Canada’s Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is the first poverty-fighting tool for people with disabilities in the world. This remarkable example of federal/provincial/territorial cooperation, which was created in 2008, has already changed the lives of more than 150,000 Canadians with disabilities. Unfortunately, […]

It’s time Canada had a national dialogue on a basic income guarantee

A basic income guarantee has been back in the news a lot lately, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and other tech giants who have been publicly endorsing the concept. But it’s not just talk in Canada. Ontario is piloting a basic income across three cities, Quebec has brought in a basic income […]

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