Minimum wage hike a flawed anti-poverty policy: Fraser Institute

Many minimum wage earners live with their parents and not in impoverished circumstances, says report

Minimum wage hike a flawed anti-poverty policy: Fraser InstituteThe debate over minimum wage is a heated one and a new report by Canadian public policy think-tank the Fraser Institute is sure to fuel more fire in this controversial issue. The study, Increasing the Minimum Wage in Alberta: A Flawed Anti-Poverty Policy, was released on Thursday. It said raising the province’s minimum wage will…

Turning away from a valuable social experiment

The abrupt cancellation of Ontario's basic income project has broad impact on international research, as well as devastating participants

Turning away from a valuable social experimentI recently participated in a panel in Finland with representatives of basic income experiments from Finland, the Netherlands, India and Scotland. My report on the cancellation of Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot project was received with stunned disbelief. On July 31, three months after enrolment was complete and before the first annual follow-up survey could be…

Recognizing the many faces of poverty in Canada

To have effective policies, we need clear, understandable indicators for the most important dimensions of poverty

Recognizing the many faces of poverty in CanadaThe federal government is to be congratulated on its just-released Poverty Reduction Strategy. The strategy, running to over 100 pages, endorses the idea of an official poverty line, relieving Statistics Canada from the impossible task of finding a purely statistical basis of definition. It further endorses the idea that poverty has many dimensions – including…

Healthy nations need healthy boundaries

If the world has anything to teach Canada, it’s not how to treat migrants. It’s how to deliver health care for its own

Healthy nations need healthy boundariesAre you a big-hearted person who likes to help everyone? If so, you probably suffered a phase where you offered too much of yourself: heart, time and money. Then you realized if you gave out too much, you would just plain give out. Despite your best efforts, there would always be more people in need…

Stop playing the racist card and deal with the real problems

To ignore a safety issue involving alcohol use among Indigenous communities for fear of being labelled a racist is just plain wrong

Stop playing the racist card and deal with the real problemsEver since Wilbur and Orville Wright proved that heavier-than-air machines could fly, safety has been a priority when it comes to air travel. Engines and chassis are inspected and re-inspected. If some gizmo in your car engine breaks, your car stops and you look under the hood. You don’t have that luxury in an airplane.…

We can prosper and still protect the environment

Increasing prosperity allows people once too poor to avoid environmental dead-ends to instead care for the environment

We can prosper and still protect the environmentYou may know this frightening if self-evident bit of advice: “Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught and the last stream poisoned will we realize we cannot eat money.” The quote is ostensibly from Canada's First Nations peoples (the Cree are often cited) but popularized by Greenpeace. The point…

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…
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