Budget 2015: Families will be hit

By Emma Graney, Leader-Post, March 19, 2015

The article features opinions by Peter Gilmer from the Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry and Poverty Free Saskatchewan. The provincial budget was released yesterday, which revealed cuts to many programs due to reduced oil revenues. Eligibility changes were announced for the Saskatchewan Employment Supplement, Active Families Benefit and Seniors’ Drug Plan (meaning that fewer residents will qualify for these programs) and funding for child care subsidies, Transitional Employment Allowance, and rental housing supplements is being reduced. Concerns have been raised that these changes are going to make it more difficult for residents living in poverty. The provincial government announced that it would be working towards an antipoverty strategy late last year, but this budget “doesn’t move us in that direction at all” according to Gilmer.

Link: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/Budget+2015+Families+will/10901984/story.html

Aboriginal job seekers in Sask. feel unemployment crunch: CBC

As unemployment in the province rises, this article by the CBC notes that Aboriginal people are especially hit hard. This trend has implications for the income gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in the SK.

Link to the article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/aboriginal-job-seekers-in-sask-feel-unemployment-crunch-1.2996070

Upcoming Poverty Reduction Summit – Ottawa, May 6-8

The Poverty Reduction Summit: Every City, Province and Territory Working Together

May 6-8, 2015: Ottawa, Ontario

Organized by the Tamarack Institute and Vibrant Communities Canada – Cities Reducing Poverty


This unprecedented event will join together representatives from all provinces/territories (and many cities) with the goal of motivating collective action to reduce poverty for 1 million Canadians.

The three-day national gathering  will highlight what’s working in poverty reduction activities, celebrate strong community examples and provincial/territorial strategies, and will outline what each holds in common so that we can clearly see the points of alignment that already exists.

Colleen Christopherson-Cote from the Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership will be speaking on the panel about how campus and community partners are collaborating together to move the needle on complex issues. Alison Robertson from Poverty Costs (SK) will also be speaking about the role of national and provincial coalitions in moving forward policy change efforts.

For more information, visit http://events.tamarackcommunity.org/povertyreductionsummit


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 (http://www.thinkupstream.net/babies_sleeping_in_boxes) 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 http://www.cwp-csp.ca/2015/02/wehaveaplan-but-do-they/

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.”

Link: http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/4405922-why-are-canadians-not-being-told-the-truth-about-disease-/

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: http://www.cwp-csp.ca/2015/01/4-8-million-canadians-last-among-equals

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 http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2014/december/22/eleven-help-reduce-poverty

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.