Integrate Canada’s forgotten Indigenous into the urban mainstream

We need to follow the example set by New Zealand, which gave the Māori the help they needed, while allowing them to preserve their culture

Integrate Canada’s forgotten Indigenous into the urban mainstreamIn 2013, the people of the small outport community of Little Bay Islands, N.L., had to make a very emotional decision. The local economy had completely dried up. The crab processing plant had closed and the community was far away from government public services. Looking at its bleak prospects, the people of the small community…

How to remedy poor health outcomes created by poverty

Social assistance programs in Canada are falling behind. It's time we expanded basic coverage to include drug and dental care

How to remedy poor health outcomes created by povertyBy Arjumand Siddiqi and Odmaa Sod-Erdene EvidenceNetwork.ca 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 the…

Here’s the carbon tax bill for the average Canadian

The government should admit that its carbon tax will significantly burden families for a climate benefit too small to measure

Here’s the carbon tax bill for the average CanadianIt took some poking and prodding and committee testimony, but now we know what the bill will be for a $50-per-tonne federal carbon tax. In a report to the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, University of Calgary assistant economics professor Jennifer Winter revealed the bottom line. Using energy consumption data…

We need to measure basic-needs poverty, not inequality

The fundamental problem with relative measures of poverty is that they often give us results that border on absurd

We need to measure basic-needs poverty, not inequalityDoes Canada need a new measure of poverty? That’s what Michael Wolfson, member of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa, recently argued. According to Wolfson, poverty (in the Canadian context) is hard to measure because it’s connected to issues such as disability, literacy, food insecurity and the like.…

Busting the minimum wage myth

An overwhelming number of studies show that raising the minimum wage actually eliminates employment opportunities

Busting the minimum wage mythWhat does the evidence about the impact of raising minimum wages actually say? It's one of the most contentious public policy debates of recent years. Opponents of raising the minimum wage say it will result in job losses – making it more expensive to hire workers means businesses will hire fewer workers. Supporters point to…

Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptom

We need to address contributing factors to homelessness, including mental illness, addictions and poverty

Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptomTonight, 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 on the rise with Winnipeg and Nanaimo, B.C., being two…

Canada needs an official poverty line

Having a clearly-defined poverty line enables a government to set targets and focus its policy agenda on effective change

Canada needs an official poverty linePoverty is hard to measure. There are many aspects besides 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,…

Tackling poverty and its impact on social and emotional well-being

Reducing poverty is not just about putting food on the table or a roof over someone's head. But there are useful strategies

Tackling poverty and its impact on social and emotional well-being“Stay calm. You're in the Kootenays.” The slogan caught my eye as I waited in line with my grandchildren to order gelato. As my three-year-old grandson twirled himself repeatedly around my legs, I began to wish we'd chosen the ice cream shop down the road. No one was in a hurry here; the wait seemed interminable. When…

Raising B.C.’s minimum wage won’t help working poor

A work-based subsidy increases the income of the working poor without making it harder for employers to hire less-skilled workers

Raising B.C.’s minimum wage won’t help working poorBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute On June 1, the minimum wage in British Columbia increased from $11.35 to $12.65 per hour – the first in a series of hikes en route to $15.20 in 2021. That’s a 34 per cent increase in three years. Despite claims from Premier John Horgan and…

Reduce the poverty-to-prison pipeline for women

From prison reform to better community services that address poverty and prevent crime, here's what Canada can do

Reduce the poverty-to-prison pipeline for womenBy Sen. Raymonde Saint-Germain and Sen. Art Eggleton Over the last decade, the number of women in Canada’s jails has spiked by 30 per cent. Even more troubling, Indigenous female prisoners now account for 37 per cent of all incarcerated women, and 50 per cent of women in maximum security. According to the 2017 correctional…

Companions for life: trust and integrity

While the dishonest may appear content, we don’t see the inner turmoil they suffer from knowing that they’ve done wrong

Companions for life: trust and integrity“I trust people until they demonstrate that they can’t be trusted.” These were the words that Ed Peklo, the dean of students at the small American college I attended, spoke at our orientation nearly 40 years ago. Beginning my post-secondary career in this way established a positive tone. I didn’t have to prove that I…

What do environmentalists have against the world’s poor?

They’re only preventing oil and gas products from getting to economies that need them the most

What do environmentalists have against the world’s poor?The last few years have not been good for pipeline projects in Canada. The Keystone XL pipeline continues to be plagued by delays, TransCanada made big news by axing the Energy East pipeline and Kinder Morgan has cut spending on the critical Trans Mountain expansion project to protect its shareholders. After each pipeline setback, oil…

Unconditional basic income is a bad idea

Such a program would weaken the incentives to work for lower-income Canadians and people not strongly tied to the labour force

Unconditional basic income is a bad ideaBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute Almost 50 years ago, a Canadian Senate report declared that a basic income “is an idea whose time has come.” Ever since, the idea resurfaces every so often, with support that spans the political spectrum. Most recently, a Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) report reinvigorated the debate…

Ten shocks that could overturn our world

Future factors and potential disruptions that could have a truly transformative impact on life, society, government, the economy, and business

Ten shocks that could overturn our worldThe world is becoming increasingly aware that there is no such thing as ‘normal’ any more. Some say this near immunity to large scale shocks started with the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, Donald Trump’s election as U.S. President, and the revelations about fake news on social media influencing voters and elections around…

Emerging from a world of suffering with hope

We can’t wallow in despair. We need to look at what we and others are doing right and emulate what works

Emerging from a world of suffering with hopeDespite what we see in our daily newsfeeds, life on Earth is actually improving. On a global level, we see significant drops in child mortality and increases in life expectancy. According to the World Health Organization, more than one billion people have gained access to safer drinking water since 1990. We also see amazing innovations…
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