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 […]

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 […]

A society with no poverty would be healthier, happier and easier to live in — and would save us all money in the end

As a family doctor who works largely with people living on low incomes, poverty is at the root of many of the illnesses I treat.

Why it’s never too late for low income Canadians to file their taxes

Most Canadians would like to see an end to poverty. What if we told you that one organization, using the existing social benefits system, found a way to get $21 million into the pockets of 9,000 low income individuals in Winnipeg?

What can we learn from a basic income pilot?

The Basic Income Guarantee is having a moment.
Hot on the heels of Quebec’s plans to work towards a basic income guarantee and a Globe and Mail Editorial Board endorsement came an announcement last Thursday of a pilot as part of Ontario’s provincial budget.

How doctors can tackle the poverty of their patients without leaving the doctor’s office

Can a question asked in a doctor’s office contribute to ending poverty for patients and their families? This is what we asked ourselves 10 years ago, as we set out to convince health providers to tackle poverty.

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.