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Which Government of Canada programs and policies do you feel are effective at reducing poverty? Are there programs and policies that can be improved? What else could we do?

over 2 years ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

As seen in the ministerial mandate letters (November 2015), the Speech from the Throne (December 2015) and Budget 2016 (March 2016), the Government of Canada has already announced several initiatives that will help reduce poverty in Canada.

More information on recent and planned Government of Canada initiatives to support poverty reduction is available in Annex A of the discussion guide.


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded

  • aswm over 2 years ago
    So many damn programs for ages 18-30.Its important... BUTwhat is there for 45 yr olds who have to leave their careers and start all over? Nothing.Wcb are like lovers until you get injured. Medical ei will give you 15 weeks but not help get you reemployed and unless you are severely disabled disability is not an option.... So you are on your own. Ive met dozens of people who end up homeless after being injured. People i know who had good paying govt jobs who exhausted their benefits wating for medical tests. I couldnt get my mri until my wcb was long closed. By the time the tests confirmed the injuries i would have needed a lawyer to reactivate wcb claim. Just an example of the increasing beaurocracy between govt programs...agencies...and 3rd parties.If you are going improve programs then improve the communication between govt and use what you have effectively.
  • Nicholas P over 2 years ago
    How could we reduce poverty in Canada? It is important to remember that firstly, there will always be *some* persons who are not willing to make it work. More specifically, there will always be some who ware not willing to, indeed, *work*. However, most poor persons are not like this. So what can be done to help someone who is willing to make a change but cannot?1. Stop taxing the working poor. This has been said before. It can be done as such: by creating a new tax bracket, for those whose net income is less than a certain amount *by the end of the year, after expenses*, rather than taxable income being under a certain amount ($45,916). We can spend a lot on family welfare programs, but/or we can (also/just) stop taking their money in the first place. 2. Education. Of course! This too has been said before. But how do you educate someone? We have already done so much to improve access thereto, and I don't know many ways/can't think of ways to increase this other than to of course add more schools. So, alternatively, let's give MIDDLE SCHOOLS Civics/Careers classes. Let's get more hands on in schools. You cannot blame kids who get tired of having to go to school everyday for 9 hours only to be learning for 1-2 hours at the most in subjects that interest them. So, let's change that right away. 3. Offer more courses. High school is too restricted at this time. It provides a very strictly bound professional course for students to follow: math, science, English, etc. These are all important - yes - but let's remind ourselves of things equally valuable and more likely to result in success: subjects that interest the individuals. So what if one kid is not quite as good at math? If one only had more than 3 electives to take, with more subjects that are applicable to the real world, they might just be more interested in a *career* rather than simply "getting by". I would also add as a side-note: amend teachers' job security as it is today. There are too many good hopeful teachers and too many less-so ones who are overly difficult to remove. This is especially relevant in Universities with tenure professors, but if this philosophy was also applied to high schools it would affect many more persons. Good teachers matter.4. Reduce the harsh laws on the homeless. Fines on frivolous matters such as loitering or using public restrooms being imposed on homeless are not helping them. When they go to jail, this costs the public money. Can't there be a better way? 5. Help single mothers more. They are amongst the most poor... The lderly6. Improve OSAP. Independent students such as myself should not be rejected because I lived in QC for a few months before University, or because my parents are technically not "estranged" from me. 7. Create a help centre for the poor. Those who really want help will go get it. Why has this not been done yet? I was shocked to not be able to find a person to call here in Ottawa for advice.... This is wrong. Simply, have a call centre that advises the poor given their financial resources/circumstance. Also, provide a poverty-help desk for those with disabilities as this is a whole other issue. 8. An example to summate the above: Close/moderate (with scrutiny) food-banks. Teach people how to grocery shop economically instead. Stop issuing band-aids, and give people real advice which is the best help they can really get. You can't have options for them to be leachers. I am no rigid conservative, but I feel that way very strongly - that people will take advantage of a loosely regulated system. I left home at 16 - I needed advice more than anything. I found a job no problem, but it took about 5-6 jobs for me to find one that was really going to help. What if I was not good at finding jobs, or what if someone had directed me to my 6th job right away, rather than me wasting my time working terrible jobs being underpaid? I could go on, and on, and on.... Cheers,Nicholas Palframan
  • Awfmilton over 2 years ago
    Get rid of the rule that stops poor students from receiving government loans in Ontario if they have filed for any form of bankruptcy and wish to change their degree.If there are prior student loans that have not been discharged, additional documentation (one of the following):A letter from the student’s financial institution, the National Student Loans Service Centre, and/or the student’s collection agency confirming that there is no outstanding balance on any student loans issued to the student; ORIf student meets in-study bankruptcy requirements, a letter from the student’s Financial Aid Office confirming that the program of study in which the student was enrolled at the time the student filed for Bankruptcy is the same as the program of study the student is applying for assistance to attend.So if a poor student decides they'd like to get a different degree, to make more money after graduation, they're not allowed unless they pay their previous student loan off in full. Make education accessible to bankrupts that owe money to OSAP, the NSLSC, or any other provincial or federal lender.
  • BGCThompson over 2 years ago
    I am using this forum as a representative of the non-government organization (NGO) in northern Manitoba, for which I currently work. The Skills Link program provides funding for training and employment opportunities for young adults who are unemployed and may have several other barrier to successfully securing employment. This is in fact a value added activity when you consider the return on investment from the Canadian tax payer by; reducing government assistance, increasing the tax revenue and NGO's are the most efficient and cost effective way to deliver these services. From a completely humane and compassionate point of view, clearly this would reduce poverty in measurable ways. For example and in the spirit of reconciliation, our program delivers and although not intended to be exclusively Indigenous participants, 100% of current Intake is Indigenous or of Indigenous heritage. Many who have minimal amounts of education or work experience, must travel from outlying communities for employment opportunities, are single parents, low- income earners, suffer from many ailments associated with severe poverty and the list goes on. Clearly providing employment placement programs will assist when trying to enter the work force for the first time. The main concern, is that under the Liberal government, the ESDC's Skills Link programs is the turn around time for approval of funding has taken over one year. This creates suspension of programming, increased leveraging for the province (Manitoba one of the poorest provinces with the highest Indigenous population other than the Northern provinces). Our last application was submitted in the last call for proposals on July 7, 2016 and the project is set to begin on July 31, 2017. (today's date July 21, 2017) and no word on whether approval is forthcoming. Our NGO have been delivering this program for 14 years and a proven entity. I have tried contacting project managers, supervisors, management and ministers and receive no word or response. The programs are there but no funds seems to be rolling out. What's the hold up?
  • Annie May over 2 years ago
    A Health Poverty Reduction Plan, i.e. A federal Extended Health Program, based on income, to include what health benefit the patient is actually prescribed. A national Pharmacare is insufficient and according to a response to Fifth Estate program savings in drug costs could go towards such things as home care. In Canada, IF one gets to the hospital in time, they receive appropriate care/treatment. Out of hospital, the poor I know cannot afford: the CPAP to a senior now deceased, the $300/mo medication,the $70/mo. medication, the extra charges to seniors such as cataract surgery for standard lenses supposed to be covered by MSP. In B.C. it seems those on welfare receive generous medical, dental benefits but the working poor and elderly are ignored. A federal extended health program should at least equalize benefits available in some provinces but not others. If the poor received the medical treatment applicable to THEIR need, it could eliminate/defer hospitalization, homecare or even early death. While Health Authorities in B.C. are dedicated to "statistics", what, if any, statistics are kept on patients unable to afford prescribed treatment, or doctors prescribing uncovered unaffordable drugs or extra-billing gimmicks to patients. Statistics show the rich live longer than the poor; it's time to change this.
  • saakshi over 2 years ago
    Instead of giving away money to Big corporates , Govt should encourage small family based business to expand and develop by providing interest free loans, tax holiday and further benefits in taxes if they create jobs.More money to small business = more job = more taxes collected = less poverty
  • art over 2 years ago
    None. Yes, like, all of them. In each city/community, you need to talk to everyone who is using these programs and ask them what needs to be improved, then listen to them, and implement changes that will help them. You also need to help the entire community by making sure everyone has affordable housing, and that prices of said housing won't keep going up every year. Do that, and maybe my 71-year-old mother can finally afford to retire.
  • dahart55 over 2 years ago
    BUC Response to Canadian Poverty Reduction StrategyMay 21, 2017Members of Bedford United Church in Bedford, Nova Scotia have developed a response to the Federal Government’s questions about a poverty reduction strategy for Canada. Where should we focus our efforts? What dimensions of poverty should be our priorities? The following is a summary of our response.First and foremost, BUC members believe that Canadians need to prevent poverty from happening. They also believe that government programs and services are needed to lift people from poverty. Education, income and affordable housing are high priority areas. Education was a dominant theme, including early childhood education, affordable childcare and access to post-secondary education and job training together with the supports necessary to achieve this. Government programs and services such as a basic income guarantee, affordable housing and support for mental health programs are also necessary. More paid positions for navigators need to be created to help those experiencing poverty find appropriate supports. Food security continues to be recognized as an important issue that needs to be addressed.The main priority areas put forth by members of Bedford United Church are listed below and include specific actions to address poverty. Priority areas are: Education, Income, Affordable Housing, Mental Health and Addictions, Health, Food Security, Job Training, Children and Youth, Seniors and other vulnerable populations.Education... affordable & accessible post-secondary education...early childhood education and child care…keeping youth in school, mentorship...financial literacy...more emphasis on trades...the cost of povertyIncome…living wage…basic income guarantee that allows people to work and/or operate home businesses, contribute, & keep a portion of their work-related income...minimum wage reform...higher corporate tax...fair taxing...redistribution of wealth...full time jobs…wage equality…cost of living increases immediately for the Canada Child BenefitAffordable Housing...rent subsides...mixed housing...rent controlsMental Health and Addictions...recognition and more funding...support for homeless, including food, health, social...identifying and supporting mental health issues earlier in lifeHealth/ Food Security…increase shelter allowance so people on income assistance have more money for food…prescription drug coverage, dental & vision care for all…community health centres...family planning...share excess food from stores that would otherwise be discardedJob Training...free educational opportunities...better promo of programs...more emphasis on trades...low interest loan and grantsSeniors...elder care at home...single seniors more vulnerableIn summary, the members of Bedford United Church said that the Canadian Government has responsibility to enhance the safety net and fund poverty reduction through taxation and responsible distribution and use of taxes. Suggestions included legislating poverty reduction with a percentage of the GDP, increased taxes for higher incomes and corporations, a flat tax, closing loopholes and directing new marijuana taxes to poverty reduction. We also recognize that communities are part of poverty reduction. Society needs to understand the cost of poverty and give more incentives to address poverty. We need to look at success stories as models, for example: Newfoundland has a poverty plan with measurable goals, and New Brunswick’s provincial government Economic & Social Inclusion Corporation focuses on poverty reduction and involves government, business, non-profits, and people experiencing poverty. We think it is important that all governments understand that citizens are concerned about poverty and that action to reduce poverty is expected by Canadians, even though the issues are complex and the work is challenging. It is imperative that we find ways to work together across all levels of government and build partnerships in communities that support multiple actions to eliminate poverty.
  • Mike_S over 2 years ago
    Many 1000's of working poor probably don't know their rights as workers, as well as depending on a full time, min wage job, to pay rent, they might know their rights but won't say anything because of the fear of losing their job.Many companies and including chain corporations that employ 1000's of employees take advantage of their employees lack of understanding their rights as employees and work them for over 7 hours with out a break or a small 15 min break.I have asked people about when you get a break, and many think you have to work a full 8 hour day to get a 30 min unpaid break. These people work in companies that employ 1000's of working poor and they all accept this as a truth.Meal breaksAn employee must not work more than five ( 5 ) hours in a row without a 30-minute meal breakOvertime• If you work 7 days a week you get pain time and a half for the day that had the shortest hours, ( 7hr+7hr+7hr+7hr+7hr+7hr+6hr ) 6hour day is time and a half .• If you work over 8 hours, every hour over 8 hours is time and a half.• If you work over 12 hours, it's double time . Example is a 13 hour day = 8 hours regular pay, 4 hours time and a half, and double time for the 1 hour. Hours of Work and Overtime Fact sheet. http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards/factsheets/hours-of-work-and-overtime Uniforms and Special Clothing, Employers are supposed to cover the cost of keeping your uniform clean, but often expect the employee to cover it.• If an employer requires an employee to wear a uniform or special clothing, the employer must provide, clean and maintain it at no cost to the employee.• Special clothing is any garment that creates an image specific to the employer and identifies employees to customers. Special clothing includes a requirement to wear the garments that the business is currently selling. A dress code (no jeans, no cut-offs, dark clothing, business casual) is not a uniform.• Employers and employees may make an agreement for the employer to reimburse employees for cleaning and maintaining special clothing.• Personal safety equipment required by Work Safe BC regulations is not considered special clothing, unless the equipment also associates the wearer with the image or identity of the employer. https://www.go2hr.ca/articles/uniforms-and-special-clothing The working poor should be better supported with employment laws, and educations for the rights of employees as well as holding up employers that don't follow these laws for employees. There should be over sight to protect employees built into the way an employer pays an employee.•If an Employer requires an employee to where a uniform then the allowance for keeping his or hers uniform clean should show within the pay statement like taxes and other deductions.•The daily hours should show in the pay statement including the break taken with the sign off sign on 30 min break, if the shift was over 5 hours.•In the daily hours the over time should be added in the pay statement if over time was worked .This should be made mandatory that the employer submits extra details per pay day within the pay statement. This in effect would be an over site requirement to better support the working poor making sure that the working poor are not being taken advantage of and keeping Corporations and Companies on the straight and narrow with their workers.That being said the Working Poor should have better more supportive Labor Laws that enhance the well being of any hourly working person.• A laborer should get a 30 min break every 4 hours as this is the middle of most 7-8 hour shift and a perfect time to recharge.• A laborer should get a quick break every 2 hours. The 30 min break after 4 hours would not be a paid break , but the quick break 10-15 mins would be paid .This type of breaking time would help a person get through a 12 - 16 hour shift more effectively, ( in a 12 hour shift there would be 2, 30 min breaks, and 3, 10-15 min break. )The bonus to the employers is a more productive work force because they are regenerated more frequently, and therefore would be more productive .• The 10-15 min quick breaks would not be mandatory. But if given the quick break time 10-15 min should be made tax deductible for the business.• If breaks are to be given these breaks should be reported in the pay stubs. ( 8 hour day, quick break at 2 hours, 30 min break at 4 hours, 2 hours another break, ).Currently the pay stub does not show the daily detail but hours worked in a 2 week pay period, over time, deductions etc. Other tax break incentives for employers to offer their employees could be, * Medical, dental, eye and hearing care, physiotherapy, and any health related care. * Education and Training. * Work Clothing. * Extra activities beyond work that could include a massive range of things from fitness centers, to out door activities, vacations and trips.A labor law and tax break reward system could be implemented to enhance the well being of any hourly working person, with the reward to the business 10 fold as they have a more productive staff, and get tax breaks for money spent for the well being of their employees. The current labor laws are in need a massive overhaul that would benefit employers and employees . Wage Theft and Workplace Abuse: Report Shows Need for Employment Standards Overhaul https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/05/08/Wage-Theft-Workplace-Abuse/ Article in The Tyee on new BC Employment Standards Coalition Summary Report http://bcemploymentstandardscoalition.com/ BC Employment Standards Act Needs to Change Summary report [PDF] http://bcemploymentstandardscoalition.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Summary-Report-Workers-Stories-of-Exploitation-and-Abuse.pdf
  • feog almost 3 years ago
    I would like to see improvements to our health care system. Too many essential health care services and treatments are not covered by our existing health insurance system. In particular I would like to see a pharmacare program, as recommended by the Canadian Medical Association. Per their studies we would save money by providing pharmacare. In addition to pharmacare we need basic dental care and mental health services covered by our health insurance program. Dental care and mental health are critical for overall health and citizens at the lower end of the income scale are less likely to have access to these services. These programs could be easily paid for through increased taxes that would be partially offset by savings in plans provided by employers. Having these additional health care services would mean that we would truly have a health care system that includes all of our health care requirements.
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    • 501130 over 2 years ago
      I would also like to see the health care system start to treat the cause rather than the resulting symptoms. As an example... chronic pain. Rather than just hand out opiates treat what is actually causing the pain rather than just providing pain relief. Osteopaths, SNA, and even wearing appropriate foot wear, gait analysis, other holistic therapy can all make a difference.
  • Kinz Alabi almost 3 years ago
    I see some very good suggestions here. I offer a few more. No more bank fees. A savings account strategy to provide a decent return on money held in banks (at least 4%). Regulation of gasoline prices at the pump to no more than double the cost of delivery per litre (Cdn spelling) to the pump (that would drop gas prices to about 65 cents per litre right now). All obligatory insurance (car insurance, house insurance,) should be under Not-for-Profit regulations. Do not privatise public assets. privatisation increases costs by passing profit targets on to consumers. Recognise that internet and telephone services are essential, not luxuries - excluding cable TV), and should not be for profit. A living wage, not a minimum wage. The lower Student minimum wage is a violation of the principle of equality. Students need to make enough money to be able to pay for tuition, books, rent and food for the year. More to come...
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    • 501130 over 2 years ago
      I have been talking about bank fees for years. Banks make huge money off the "poor". My bank has minimum bank balances of $2000 or you are charged bank fees. Who, on any type of social assistance, disability, or minimum wage job living cheque to cheque can maintain a balance of over $2000 month to month to avoid bank fees. The Big Banks just suck in the fees from the poor people. It should not be allowed. I know people who are paying up to $50 a month in bank fees and service charges because every time they use their bank card they're charged a service charge. Regarding other services... It's about time someone put a stop to Bell's monopoly. My internet with a small company like "Comwave" (but not Comwave) When I moved this year I could not keep my DSL plan - $61/mth unlimited internet Including phone and long distance - because Bell had a monopoly on the lines in the building I was moving to (Bell Fibe) and could not afford double what I was paying. I had to switch to a cable modem and I am not very happy with the service and cost increased to $75 although with same company. I did prefer my DSL line. Why is Bell Fibe allowed to monopolize an entire property, and allow no other service providers access. I am low income in poverty, and living in a subsidized unit. I can not afford Bell's prices.
  • PovertyFreeHalton over 2 years ago
    The government of Canada has proposed and is proposing in it's list (Annex A) many excellent initiatives to alleviate poverty in Canada. All of these depend on adequate sources of revenue which should be collected through a progressive taxation system including reversing the 2 percentage points of the GST that were cut by the previous Conservative Government. Government and community leadership is required to change the dialogue amongst Canadians from our current anti-tax beliefs to the understanding that progressive taxation means that we all share in the investments required to produce a strong economy and a civilized society in which we are all treated with dignity and in an equitable manner. Programs like a national pharmacare program, a universal, affordable, high-quality early learning and childcare program, a national housing strategy and other policies of these kinds will not only provide Canadians living at or below the poverty line with the resources required to live a more dignified and inclusive life this will provide necessary and welcome resources to all Canadians. When all of us invest in, have access to and therefore value these resources we together build a more inclusive and equitable society.
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    • 501130 over 2 years ago
      I agree with my friends at Poverty Free Halton, especially with the National Pharmacare program. As a recipient of CPP-D in Ontario I struggle with the cost of my Trillium Drug Program deductible of $400. I realize that does not sound like much but with a yearly income under $11,000 and a monthly income of only $900 every penny counts. Unlike ODSP there is no extra for housing costs, and no drug, dental, or health benefits. Everything is paid for out of pocket monthly from that $900 including my rent, hydro, transportation, food, drugs, health care, insurance, etc.... and living with food allergies to dairy and gluten makes groceries really expensive. National Pharmacare and health benefits would make my life much less financially stressful.
  • Lisa Beere over 2 years ago
    I think on a local level organized food sharing would make a HUGE difference. Essentially once a week people but at the end of their driveway any food they wish to donate. It must be nut free, not home made and wrapped such that no bugs would get into it. Then trucks come by to pickup the food and deliver to the local food banks. The Federal government could fund the trucks/staff, and work to organize this service with the Provinces, who will communicate with each municipality. Food sharing between municipalities would need to be sorted out. Its possible more food banks would need to be set up. But for an issue like this I am certain various not for profits would be willing to help. I believe this idea is worth having a study done to flesh out details.
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    • 501130 over 2 years ago
      We want to get rid of food banks. People find them stigmatizing, and the food they provide is unhealthy. Just stop buying more than you need then you won't have extra and donate money to a local community dinner. Food banks also need products like diapers, feminine hygiene products, laundry soap, toilet paper, cleaning supplies.... these are all necessities that also cost us poverty ridden people money and are more expensive than dry pasta.
  • Lisa Beere over 2 years ago
    Widespread telework and flexible work time policies would enable many people to work, continue working, return to work...they would help those balancing family responsibilities, esp as our parents age.They could benefit some of those who are injured or ill.They would allow many wanting to retire to easily work part time, if desired. (Yes, I know this isn't possible for all jobs but it could certainly be more widely used than it is.)Workplace 2.0 will not allow some people to be in the workplace. For example, those with anxiety issues, noise sensitivity, PTSD, etc.
  • Susan over 2 years ago
    I believe that it is time for Canada to have a National Cancer Strategy. One of the causes of poverty in Canada happens when you or a family member is diagnosed with Cancer. Cancer not only is a catastrophic health issue but quickly progresses to a financial issue. Currently, when a working person does not have healthcare benefits at work or LT or ST disability insurance they have only the option of EI sickness benefits. A large number of working Canadians are affected including part time workers, seasonal workers, independent contractors, self employed individuals, and casual or at will employees. The problem is that EI sickness benefits only cover a person's income for 15 weeks ..the average cancer treatment is 26 weeks. The only other option is to apply for CPP disability..CPP disability loosely relies on the potential that a person will die quickly and as a result there are people that are turned away because they do not fill the eligibility requirements because there is a chance that they will live. I believe that this needs to change because Cancer is like no other disease, most people cannot work because they are immunocompromised, are away from their work frequently for appointments, and have a host of other issues that preclude them from being able to work. Couple that with high costs for travel for treatments (if out of province or in province but a significant distance) , high cost of drugs not covered under pharmacare, the possibility that a spouse or other caretaker may have to take time off to care for the person or the issue that a person may not ever be able to return to the type of work that they did before. This leads to a financial catastrophe for a lot of Canadians.
  • michael kerr over 2 years ago
    All national programs and policies - and any future strategy, plan, policy or program developed to deal with poverty and its reduction or elimination - need incorporate a differentiated approach. To do so it must acknowledge and specifically address the unique and different circumstances and lived realities of each of the historically disadvantaged and systematically marginalized groups in Canada - First Peoples, peoples of colour, single mothers, persons with (dis)abilities, LGBTQ community members, single adults, and youth - and the intersections of these ! So any current and future federal initiative need track each of these groups over time - with appropriate data capture tools, techniques and templates - in order to determine and best ensure that all groups of people are in fact benefiting from any and all of the interventions - and doing do equitably !!
  • David Goodings over 2 years ago
    In the list of poverty reduction programs and policies in Annex A, the most important are the Canada Child Benefit, the increase to OAS and the GIS for seniors (which should be added to every year), and the long list of programs for Indigenous People. It is also of great importance for low-income and middle-income families to bring in (over a period of 2 or 3 years, at most) a universal, affordable, high-quality early learning and child care program. What else? High priority should be given to a national pharmacare program covering all people, not just seniors, young people and those on social assistance.
  • Mike_S almost 3 years ago
    A Poverty Reduction Strategy / Living Wage System for a single person living below the poverty level $0. - $17,500 a year. 1. Implement a Poverty Reduction Strategy / Living Wage System based on people living below the poverty level. $0. - $17,500 a year. 2. Implement a min level of rent and rent increases based on people living below the poverty level. $0. - $17,500. 3. Allow a person making a wage below the poverty level, $0. - $17,500 to access programs, education and training that are offered to people on Social Services, EI, Disabilities, and other back to work programs. • A person may need training and education for employment, that they are interested in but can't access the same programs offered to people on Social Services, EI, Disabilities, and other back to work programs, because they are not on or don't qualify for Social Services, EI, Disabilities, and other back to work programs. 4. Create more Subsidized Housing for people that are living below the poverty line that are working and making a wage less then the poverty level. $0. - $17,500. • Most Subsidized Housing is geared towards Minority Groups, People on Disabilities, Seniors, and Families, but very few Subsidized Housing Places have available suites or rooms for the working poor. 5. Implement a wage buffer for people on Social Services, EI, and Disabilities that allows people to make a wage to cover the cost of living while on the system. •If you get a job, you are deducted any assistance from Social Services, EI, and Disabilities. Since Social Services, EI, and Disabilities does not cover the cost of living. People should be able to make a wage equal to the poverty level $0. - $17,500, and not be punished and deducted for their effort to live in poverty, while struggling to get out of poverty. From what I know if you make any money , when you claim it on your Social Assistance stub, you get deducted dollar for dollar. which currently is $600 for a single person. •Example 1 , If a person on Disabilities was receiving $1000 dollars a month from Social Assistance , the person on Disabilities should be able to make an extra $625 per month before getting deducted anything. •Example 2 , If a single employable person receiving $1000 a month from Social Assistance , they should be able to make $250 ( including up to $250 from an EI claim ) before being deducted. EI should allow a person to make $250 over a $1000 claim without being deducted. That being said a person receiving $1250 from a EI claim would not receive Income Assistance from Social Assistance but should still be able to access the Social Assistance Programs for getting back to work.6. Increase the available amount of money a person can have in their bank account from $1500 to $17,500 that doesn't make them ineligible for Social Assistance Programs , • If you have more then $1500 in your bank account and assets you are denied Social Assistance . Social Assistance Programs should be accessible for people that have $0. - $17,500 in their savings . Although not be eligible for Income Assistance if an individual has $1500 to $17,500 in their savings, but be able to access programs, training, and employer incentives from Social Assistance and other back to work programs. 7. Add basic non-cosmetic dentist, eye, and hearing care coverage to the health care system that covers people making below the poverty level $0. - $17,500. • People on Social Assistance and Disability have some coverage but people working below the poverty line have near 0% coverage, unless it's an emergency situation . Basic non-comedic dentist, eye, and hearing care coverage should be apart of the health care system for people living below the poverty level $0. - $17,500. ( this would create more jobs for people in the health care field ). 8. Combine Social Services, EI, Disabilities and other back to work programs into a Poverty Reduction Strategy / Living Wage System. In conclusion,Make a new 3 % tax for non-essential items**( Non-essential Items, is any item, that isn't required for a human being to live in order to survive ).** ( Human beings need a place to live, that is warm and dry, clean water, and healthy food in order to survive and live. ) People have disposable income to buy non-essential items, people living below the poverty line have a lot less disposable income. Creating a poverty reduction strategy / Living Wage System is going to cost money to keep going. It should act as a bounce back net, supporting system to catch people from slipping through the cracks and giving people not only support but a bounce back initiative to make more then a living wage to have more disposable income that they spend on non-essential items that get taxed and supports the system that gave them the bounce back initiative . Everyone rich and poor shares the responsibility to support the Living Wage System through a new 3% non-essential items tax by purchasing non-essential items, every one gets taxed equally. So many programs get cut because of not having enough tax dollars to support the programs , so its time that we create a new tax dedicated to supporting an ongoing program that supports itself by making sure the tax dollars spent to make it work are also regenerated back into the system to keep it working. In this case a +/- 3% new tax increase on non-essential items to create a Poverty Reduction Strategy / Living Wage System within the cost of living that maintains a guarantees a +/- 3% tax goes to keep it running . During times of lower unemployment and more people making more then the poverty wage people would have more disposable income to spend on non-essential items and could generate a tax surplus which could be used to create more programs, grants and incentives. From what I've noticed in the last 30 years based on my experience of living below the poverty line, it's going to get a lot worse. As the poverty line increases the population living in poverty will increase as well, without a Poverty Reduction Strategy / Living Wage System.
  • Dietitians of Canada almost 3 years ago
    Dietitians of Canada recommends: 1. Development and implementation of a pan-Canadian government-led strategy that includes coordinated policies and programs, to ensure all households have consistent and sufficient income to be able to pay for basic needs, including food. The strategy should consider:• sufficient income protection for low income households relying on precarious employment and low wages • improved benefits for households with children under 18 years, especially households led by a lone parent• improved benefits for low income, unattached individuals• increased social assistance and disability pension rates to ensure individuals and their households have enough income to pay for basic needs, including food• investigation of the feasibility of a guaranteed annual income that ensures all vulnerable households can have access to sufficient income assistance to meet basic needs• more investment in subsidized, affordable and stable housing options, including the provision of housing for individuals/households who are homeless• financial assistance that equitably addresses the higher cost of food in remote and northern regions of Canada, whether through Nutrition North Canada or other programs. 2. Implementation of a federally-supported strategy to comprehensively address the additional and unique challenges related to household food insecurity among Indigenous Peoples, including: • commitment to reconciliation (as recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples), including assurance of household food security and food sovereignty • fair resolution of disputes over access to lands and resources recognized by Indigenous and Treaty rights, to ensure food sovereignty and access to traditional/country foods by Indigenous Peoples• sufficient supports to remove barriers for Indigenous Peoples who are hunting, fishing or gathering/cultivating traditional/country foods • improved access to and ability to afford healthy store-bought or market foods in all First Nation reserves and northern and remote communities where food prices are substantially higher than elsewhere in Canada, with equitable community eligibility for Nutrition North Canada subsidies and/or other programs to address household food insecurity among Indigenous Peoples• sufficient supports to improve opportunities in education and employment, for equitable income adequacy and security among Indigenous Peoples compared to other groups within Canada. (www.dietitians.ca/foodinsecurity)
  • Slee almost 3 years ago
    The child benefit and changes to OAS/CPP & GIS are postive changes. In regard to healthcare - it lags far behind the help not only poor but middle income families really need.There are people who require eye glasses that cost 600-1000. and our healthcare system provide no help for vision care unless a person is on disability or welfare. People who are low income, fixed income receive no support when it comes to vision care. The same goes for dental care. Spending three days in the emergency room on antibiotics from an oral infection, costs more than it would to have provided basic dental care for ten years. Vision/Dental and Out of Pocket health care are bankrupting Canadian families.In Canada our charter says all Canadians have a right to 'access' of healthcare - but there's a big elephant in the room. Poor people, those on fixed incomes, cannot afford to access that healthcare even when it is necessary. When Drs advise people against seeing a specialist because you wouldn't have the money to pay for the treatment if it was needed anyway, the value of your life and your dignity as a human being has been flushed.Some examples where we cold look for solutions - transportation is not only expensive but unafordable and in some case not even easily accessible for necessary medical treatment. EX: 1) 57 yr old woman, seasonal employee, low income has cancer surgery in the closest hospital one hr away. After a few weeks she is released. She does not keep further appointments because she cannot afford the cost of transportation and is in a recuperative state that would require assistance which she does not have. Physio therapy although recommended, is not followed through due to costs. The end result is mobility issues resulting in permanent disability, additional healthcare issues and long term prescribed medicines. 2) young single parent of a one year old child born with some medical issues seeks help in a local clinic. The child is transported to the nearest hospital an hour away where he remains for over a week. The mother has no employment and no money. While her child is in the hospital, she must find some place to stay until there is room closer to her child - she borrows everything she can from whoever she can find to pay for hotel rooms - the cost is well over a thousand dollars that will never be repaid. The anxiety and stress affects her own mental and physical health.3) Senior, fixed income, low income person sent by Dr to the emergency clinic of the nearest hospital in a city well over an hour away. The local Dr does not offer ambulatory or any other link to any transportation services, there is no public transportation available and driving is impossible. The option? Go blind or pay a taxi the one way 200 fare to get to the hospital. Once there the patient finds out that he is required to remain in the city for necessary medical care but as an outpatient. There is no assistance anywhere to help navigate the city, find places to stay, no direction for help. Forced to stay in hotels for days while making daily trips to the hospital results in over $2000.00 in costs- an enormous sum of money for anyone on a fixed income. The stress and anxiety is not lessened when follow up care is necessary. So what can we do better in these and thousands of similar stories?We need more transportation options for patients who require immediate and/or emergency care in hospitals outside their locale. This could be done by travel vouchers billed for complete reimbursement by the Ontario government. We do not need tax credits that are of no benefit for low income people - we need healthcare allowances for people who must receive immediate service in major cities where hotel rates can easily cost 350/night and the costs are bankrupting people. We could insist that clinics, hospitals and Drs offices are linked so that there are hospital liason personnel available to work with out of town patients. In education?