Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why Canadian Babies Don’t Sleep in Boxes

We wanted to share this interesting blog post by Cameron Dearlove, which was posted on the Upstream website ( and originally appeared on The Community Edition.

The article presents an example of a program from Finland that is universal and showcases how the country’s government invests in early childhood development – the maternity package, which contains supplies all children need in their first year of life. The reader is left with the comparison to Canadian social programs, which tend to be means-tested.

“Today we know that social and financial inequities — particularly the experience of poverty — has a greater impact on our health than our healthcare system, genetics, even lifestyle choices.”

New Anti-Poverty Plan Released by Canada Without Poverty

Canada Without Poverty released a new national plan for ending poverty today. Dignity for All: A National Anti-Poverty Plan for Canada was developed after engaging and consulting communities.

The plan calls for the Federal Government to immediately take action to address both the immediate and long-term needs of the 1 in 7 Canadians who live in poverty.

The 6 areas addressed in the plan are:

  • Income security
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Health
  • Food security
  • Early childhood education and care, and
  • Jobs and employment

To read the plan, visit

Social determinants need to be included in conversations about disease prevention -Raphael

This article is an opinion piece from the Hamilton Spector in 2014, but is still relevant. This thoughtful piece by Dr. Dennis Raphael discusses how current mainstream discourse about disease prevention (e.g. exclusive emphasis on lifestyle choices like tobacco cessation, exercise, etc.) ignores root causes such as poverty and poor working conditions. Raphael points out that “deprivation over the life course is strongly related to the incidence of such diverse afflictions as Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, emphysema, kidney and lung disease, osteoporosis, lupus and mental health problems such as depression and suicide.”


Oxfam report on income inequality

Oxfam released a report this January called Working for the Few: Political capture and economic inequality which showcases just how much of the world’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of the ultra-wealthy. Almost half (46%) of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population. Although Canada was noted in the report to be a country with strong social mobility, inequality continues to rise in our country.

A link to the article and commentary can be found on the Canada Without Poverty website:

Government announces poverty reduction strategy committee

Today Saskatchewan Social Services announced the formation of a committee to develop its poverty reduction strategy.

See the media release

PFS outlines need for comprehensive strategy

PFS has outlined the need for a comprehensive plan when the government develops its poverty reduction strategy

See our media release of December 18, 2014.

Why one of Canada’s big banks is calling for greater income equality

Article by Dr. Ryan Meili in the Toronto Star.

The article discusses a recent report by TD Bank. The report raises alarms about the growing income gap in Canada and provides recommendations including calls for increased spending on affordable housing, early childhood development, and social services.

1 in 7 Canadians Lived in Low-income Households in 2012: Stats Canada

According to recently released data from Statistics Canada, 4.7 million Canadians (13.8% of the population) were considered to be low-income in 2012. About one in six children in Canada (16.3%), lived in low-income households that year.

Note: it is difficult to make comparisons with previous years’ low-income statistics, because the 2012 reference year was the first for the new Canadian Income Survey, which used a different methodology than the previous income survey by Statistics Canada.

Link to news article:

CBC: Poverty strategy among items highlighted in Sask. throne speech

The October 22, 2014 speech from the throne at the Saskatchewan legislature highlighted that the provincial government will be developing a poverty reduction strategy.


CBC: Demand on Sask. food banks growing and widening

Usage of food banks in SK is up by 19 per cent across the province, from Mar. 2013 to Mar. 2014, according to Food Banks Canada. This article by the CBC showcases the story of a member of a growing group in the province: people with jobs who are unable to make ends meet.