New Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy

Realizing Our Potential: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (2014-2019) was released in September 2014. The new strategy includes sections focused on children & youth, homelessness, and employment. The document also acts as a reminder of the high cost of inaction; poverty cost the Ontario public $10.4 billion in 2008.

The strategy can be found here: https://www.ontario.ca/home-and-community/realizing-our-potential-poverty-reduction-strategy-2014-2019

All of Us Are Paying for Government Inaction on Poverty

Inequity is rising in Canada. Did you know that the 86 richest families in Canada now hold more wealth than the poorest 11.4 million?

Poverty and inequities hurt all of us in the long run. They erode social cohesion and create a burden on all taxpayers to pay for poverty reduction, healthcare services, unemployment, crime and homelessness.

Full article by John Millar is available from the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/john-millar/poverty-measures_b_5656216.html

The CRA Should Not Define Poverty’s Threshold – Murtaza Haider

“The courts and the CRA must revisit their definitions of poverty, and perhaps consult with development economists who study the poor and poverty. The courts cannot be the sole arbitrator of how to define, measure, prevent and alleviate poverty. At the same time, the CRA may also not be the sole determinant of what constitutes charitable work.”

The complete article is available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/murtaza-haider/cra-poverty_b_5621872.html

New research about impact of poverty in Saskatoon Health Region

A new report by the Public Health Observatory of the Saskatoon Health Region discusses the need to address health inequities in the city. Residents living in lower-socioeconomic status neighbourhoods of Saskatoon tend to have lower life expectancies and poorer health (e.g. diabetes, injuries, and heart disease) compared to neighbourhoods with less deprivation.  For example, people living in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods of the city have a life expectancy at birth of only 76 years, compared to 85 years in the most advantaged neighbourhoods. These health gaps have been persistent over the years.

Media article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/effects-of-poverty-in-saskatoon-are-illness-and-death-1.2685727

More information is available on the CommunityView Collaboration website: http://www.communityview.ca/infographic_SHR_health_equity_2014.html

Poverty Costs campaign calls for poverty reduction strategy

An exciting development in Saskatchewan – a new group adds to the calls for a poverty reduction strategy!

The following are some articles about the launch of the Poverty Costs campaign.

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The Poverty Costs website

http://pover-upstream.nationbuilder.com/

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Poverty Costs website launches

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald

Published on March 09, 2014

http://www.paherald.sk.ca/News/Local/2014-03-09/article-3642878/Poverty-Costs-website-launches/1

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Coalition launches campaign to reduce poverty in Saskatchewan

By Aaron Streck

http://globalnews.ca/news/1199406/coalition-launches-campaign-to-reduce-poverty-in-saskatchewan/

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Poverty reduction strategy sought

By Betty Ann Adam, The StarPhoenix

March 11, 2014

http://www.leaderpost.com/business/Poverty+reduction+strategy+sought/9602784/story.html

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A Living Wage for Regina

A family of 4 with a children 4 and 7 years need $58,000 per year to live on. Minimum wage provides about $34,000. The graphics in the report tell the story. View entire report at .https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/living-wage-regina

Paul Gingrich, Simon Enoch,  and Brian Banks worked on this document.

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A Living Wage for Regina is $16.46/per hour.

While Saskatchewan’s economy has outperformed the rest of the country for the past few years, many underserved groups have not benefitted from the province’s economic expansion. The adoption of a Living Wage by Saskatchewan municipalities and employers would offer a chance to more equally share the benefits of a booming economy. The income security derived from the Living Wage benefits not only workers, but their families as well, improving health and child development outcomes. Moreover, the Living Wage can be a boon to local business, drastically reducing absenteeism and employee turnover, enhancing brand reputation and customer loyalty and providing privileged access to a new market of Living Wage employers. Lastly, the Living Wage can improve the health of our local economies by injecting much-needed income into the hands of low-income earners who will immediately turn around and purchase local goods and services.

We know that the costs to adopt the Living Wage are negligible and are far outweighed by the positive impacts on our families, business and communities. Adopting a Living Wage is one way we can restore a measure of fairness and dignity to our economic system. We hope that this initial report on the Living Wage for the City of Regina can spark a successful Living Wage movement throughout Saskatchewan.

View the full release here:

https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/living-wage-regina

Simon Enoch, PhD
Director
CCPA Saskatchewan
G-2835 13th Avenue
Regina, SK
S4T 1N6
(306) 924 3372

Defending Social Programs for a Stronger Canada

Defending Social Programs for a Stronger Canada

OTTAWA, March 27, 2013 – The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) today launched www.defendingsocialprograms.ca to draw attention to the Canadian Social Transfer and its potential to address Canada’s growing income inequality gap with accountable investments in the social determinants of health.

The Canadian Social Transfer is the primary source of federal funding in Canada that supports provincial and territorial social programs. At present, the Canadian Social Transfer is largely an unconditional transfer which has no agreed Principles of Accountability to ensure equity of social programs across Canada.

“Since 2006, the respective provincial and territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services have not met with their federal counterparts to share best practices and develop national strategies for investments in the social determinants of health” notes CASW President, Morel Caissie.

“It’s now time to put Canadians first and bring all parties involved in financing and delivering social programs together with renewed our commitment to human rights as enshrined in our Constitution.”

CASW is seriously concerned at the pace in which the Government of Canada is reshaping national social programs and services as well as with the unilateral renewal of the Canadian Social Transfer at 3% with no dialogue on accountability or impact.

“With the rules governing Canada’s equalization program and affordable housing agreements set to expire in 2014, the provincial, territorial and federal governments must seize the opportunity to proactively address the growing income inequity gap in Canada” notes CASW President, Morel Caissie.

CASW urges all Canadians to visit www.defendingsocialprograms.ca to send a message to your elected leaders to reinstate Principles of Accountability to the Canada Social Transfer and to work towards a national plan to address all social determinants of health for a stronger Canada.

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Canadian Association of Social Workers was founded in 1926 and has evolved into a national non-profit social work organization that promotes the profession of social work in Canada and advances social justice.

For further information:

Fred Phelps, Executive Director,  Canadian Association of Social Workers, Tel: 613-729-6668,  E-mail:  fred.phelps (at) casw-acts.ca

Adult education – essential in poverty reduction

This report was done by the British Columbia Teachers Federation. They are really emphasizing the issues of child poverty and its impacts on teaching and learning.

White, M. (2013). Adult education: An essential element in poverty reduction plan to improve economic opportunities for low-income individuals and families.

Retrieve from http://bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/Public/Publications/ResearchReports/RR2013-02.pdf

The Case For Raising The Minimum Wage

Although this is U.S. data it is still worthwhile posting on PFS just for the link to the studies that say increasing minimum wage does not kill jobs.

Mon, 18 Feb 2013 ZNet Daily Commentary:

The Case For Raising The Minimum Wage, By Sue Sturgis

Level to which President Obama called for increasing the federal minimum hourly wage in this week’s State of the Union address, while indexing it to rise automatically with inflation: $9

Current federal minimum hourly wage: $7.25

Annual income of someone who works full-time at today’s minimum wage, with no vacation: $15,080

Amount to which that would increase under the president’s plan: $18,720

If the minimum hourly wage had kept pace with inflation since its real-value high in the late 1960s, level it would be at today: $10.56

Of the jobs lost during the recession, percentage that were in lower-wage occupations: 21

Of the jobs gained during the recovery, percentage that were in lower-wage occupations: 58

Number of workers who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage: 21 million

Portion of minimum-wage workers who are women: almost 2/3

Portion who are parents: 1/4

Percentage who are black: 14.2

Who are Hispanic: 23.6

Who are white: 56.1

Amount that a proposed 2012 hike in the minimum wage to $9.80 an hour would have increased Gross Domestic Product, which measures a nation’s standard of living: about $25 billion

Number of new jobs it would have created: 100,000

Number of states that set minimum wages higher than the federal standard: 19

Of those states, number in the South: 1*

Number of states that set minimum wages lower than the federal standard: 4

Of those states, number in the South: 2**

Number of states that index their minimum wage to inflation: 9

Of those states, number in the South: 1***

According to a 2012 survey, percentage of likely voters who support raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour and indexing it to inflation: 73

Percentage of Democrats who support such an increase: 91

Percentage of independents: 74

Percentage of Republicans: 50

Number of business leaders and small business owners who signed a statement supporting the last increase in the federal minimum wage in 2007: nearly 1,000

Number of studies that have found raising the minimum wage does not cause an increase in unemployment, as claimed by Republicans opposed to the president’s proposal: over 20

* Florida ($7.79/hour)

** Arkansas ($6.25.hour) and Georgia ($5.15/hour)

*** Florida

From: Z Net – The Spirit Of Resistance Lives

URL: http://www.zcommunications.org/the-case-for-raising-the-minimum-wage-by-sue-sturgis

 

 

 

 

Saskatchewan Social Services “From Dependence to Independence”

People interested in what the provincial government is doing concerning poverty should review the Saskatchewan Social Services document “From Dependence to Independence: Actions and Investments for Saskatchewan’s Most Vulnerable People”. Saskatchewan Social Services, Regina, Summer 2012. It provides “… an update on the services and initiatives we have supported, and will continue to support, to assist individuals and families who need a helping hand. … We are proud of the successes we have achieved, but realize there is much more to do, so that every person in Saskatchewan can enjoy our shared bright future.”