Category Archives: Uncategorized

There is a prescription for poverty’s punishing impact on health in Ontario

In this article in the Toronto Star, physicians advocate for changes to their province’s income security system to improve health and reduce the cost to society.

Link: https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/11/14/there-is-a-prescription-for-povertys-punishing-impact-on-health-in-ontario.html 

Changes to Sask dietary supplement benefit

From the article from CBC Saskatchewan: families are being impacted by the recent elimination of the standardized 3,000-calorie diet benefit in the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program and Saskatchewan Assistance Program. The story of Alan Hall and Marianne Hollman-Hall is presented; the Halls both have disabilities and relied on that additional $75 benefit to help them afford the healthy food they need. The diet benefit change is expected to affect 760 people on Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability program, and 600 people on the Saskatchewan Assistance Program. Alan Hall now only receives $125 per month for food under the SAID program and is calling for that benefit to be increased to at least $300 per month; Hall says the benefit has not been increased in 32 years despite a dramatic rise in food costs over the decades.

Link to article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/special-diet-cuts-1.4389386

Rally – October 17th

Rally at the Saskatchewan Legislature: October 17th at noon

October 17 is the International Day for Eradication of Poverty! Let’s send a strong message to the SK government and let them know what they have to do to eradicate poverty in our province.

‘Chew on This’ event in Regina

From CBC Saskatchewan:

As part of the nation-wide ‘Chew on This’ campaign, anti-poverty advocates in Regina (including Peter Gilmer from the Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry and Poverty Free Saskatchewan) handed out apples and information to passersby to raise awareness and discussion.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/regina-anti-poverty-chew-on-this-vigil-1.4352141

Budget 2017: For the Few, Not the Many

The 2017 provincial budget contained many cuts particularly detrimental to people living with poverty. Budget 2017: For the Few, Not the Many documents the impacts of these changes. budget_2017_PFS (final) June 15

P.E.I. votes to move forward on basic income pilot

From the CBC: the P.E.I. Legislature voted this week to support a basic-income pilot project in the province, done in partnership with the federal government. All MLAs voted in favour of the motion, citing the potential benefits to health, education, crime rates, and human potential.

URL for article:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/legislature-mlas-basic-income-1.3884964

Dec 6 talk – “Poverty Reduction & the Current Sask Economic Climate”

JSGS Public Lecture ~ Poverty Reduction and the Current Saskatchewan Economic Climate – on December 6, 2016.
This event will be moderated by Dr. Daniel Béland, JSGS, and will feature a panel:
Chuk Plante, PhD Student, McGill University
Ali Abukar, Executive Director, Saskatoon Open Door Society
Caitlin Olauson, Centre for Integrative Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Bill Mintram, Executive Director, Saskatoon Indian & Métis Friendship Centre
In 2015 the Government of Saskatchewan committed to, and developed, a poverty reduction strategy. Over the course of the past year, agencies and sectors that work in communities to reduce poverty have been patiently awaiting an implementation plan for the strategy. Now faced with the current economic downturn and looming provincial budget cuts, it is time to open a conversation about how critical it is to invest in poverty reduction in times of economic decline. This conversation will capture the historical background of poverty reduction strategies in Saskatchewan and across Canada, address the economic argument for investing in poverty reduction and provide 3 distinct sector perspectives to increase awareness of how important social investment is to our province.
December 06, 2016
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Saskatoon: Prairie Room, Diefenbaker Centre, University of Saskatchewan
Regina (Video Conference): Room 210, 2 Research Drive, University of Regina
There is no cost to attend, but those interested in attending are encouraged to register as seating is limited.
Complete event details and online registration available here.
 
 

Large numbers of Sask children live in poverty

Child and Family Poverty in Saskatchewan
November 2016
by Paul Gingrich, Garson Hunter, Miguel Sanchez
http://campaign2000.ca/…/upl…/2016/11/SASKReportCard2016.pdf

Canada 2000 released national and provincial reports on November 24, 2016.

News Coverage

Global Regina news coverage “Child poverty rates in Saskatchewan higher than national average” http://globalnews.ca/news/3086534/child-poverty-rates-in-saskatchewan-higher-than-national-average/

CTV Regina newsclip http://www.ctvnews.ca/one-in-10-canadian-children-live-in-poverty-report-1.457428

Regina Leader Post article “1 in 4 Sask. children live in poverty: U of R report” http://leaderpost.com/news/saskatchewan/one-in-four-sask-children-live-in-poverty-u-of-r-report

CTV national coverage of the situation Canada-wide “1 in 10 children live in poverty” http://www.ctvnews.ca/one-in-10-canadian-children-live-in-poverty-report-1.457428

 

Changes not applying to current situations

The following Saskatchewan Government media release indicates that changes previously announced to Social Services will not apply to current clients in their current situations, but will apply to new clients, or existing clients whose situations change (e.g. they move or become 65 years old)

Province Announces Plans for Income Assistance Programs

Released on November 14, 2016
Changes proposed to Income Assistance programs will not be implemented as announced earlier this year, while the province proceeds to review and redesign its programs to better serve those in need.The 2,700 clients who received letters from Social Services this summer will not have their benefits impacted as a result of these policy changes until such time as their individual circumstances change (for example, they move).  The program changes will continue to apply to new program applicants or to existing clients whose circumstances change.“Our government has listened to the concerns of those who would have been affected by these changes, and we have decided against implementing them for existing clients,” Social Services Minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor said.  “I know that this period of uncertainty has been difficult for people, and I thank them for their patience.“We are committed to ensuring that our programs serve those in greatest need, that they are effective, and that they are sustainable.  To that end, we will be focusing our efforts on reviewing and redesigning our Income Assistance programs to support those who need them most and help people participate in the economic and social life of our province.”

Social Services has begun the work of Income Assistance Redesign, following through on a commitment made in the Saskatchewan Poverty Reduction Strategy.  The Redesign will be based on four principles: Income Assistance is citizen-centred, simple, transparent and sustainable.

Income Assistance Redesign will not focus on the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program or on income supports for people over the age of 65.

Earlier this year, the province announced that a number of changes to its Income Assistance programs would take effect September 1 or October 1:

  • Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID): consider the Saskatchewan Rental Housing Supplement when calculating benefits for families and people with disabilities who receive extra or “excess” living income through SAID;
  • Saskatchewan Assistance Program (SAP) and SAID: end the grandfathering provision of excess shelter benefits under both programs in communities that previously had low vacancy rates;
  • SAP and SAID: end the practice of exempting Seniors’ Income Plan (SIP) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)  top-up benefits; and
  • Saskatchewan Employment Supplement (SES): end the practice of grandfathering benefits for families with children aged 13 and over.

Beginning September 1 or October 1, these changes have been applied to new program applicants or to existing clients whose circumstances changed in such a way that their benefits would be affected: for example, they moved or began to receive income support for people over 65.

The changes simplify the programs and contribute to their sustainability.

People who have questions about their benefits are encouraged to call their Income Assistance Worker or Assured Income Specialist, or to contact the Client Service Centre at 1-866-221-5200.

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For more information, contact:

Leya Moore
Social Services
Regina
Phone: 306-787-3610
Email: [email protected]
Cell: 306-519-7835

More companies in Saskatoon are now offering a living wage

From the CBC: the ‘living wage’ movement continues to grow in Saskatoon. Four more companies in the city are now pledging to offer a wage that would support a family of four ($16.68 or higher).

The Living Wage YXE group is encouraging more companies to offer living wages, as it can help in the fight against poverty. Offering a living wage can also have benefits for businesses, for example, “lower employee turnover and better customer service.”

The article can be found here: http://thestarphoenix.com/storyline/four-saskatoon-companies-have-pledged-to-pay-employees-a-living-wage