'Working for nothing': Canada joins global minimum wage debate

Grace Iyabosa, seen with her daughter Pride, does overnight shift work in an Ottawa hospital for $10.25 per hour.
(Dave Chan For the Globe and Mail)

by Tavia Grant, The Globe and Mail

Grace Iyabosa sits with hospital patients through the long nights, close at hand in case they need help.

The single mom works eight- or 12-hour shifts in Ottawa, on call, which means she often has to scramble to find child care for her two kids, ages seven and 11. She earns minimum wage of $10.25 an hour. After paying for food, babysitting and more than $600 for rent, there is nothing left at the end of the month.

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Toronto releases strategy to help city’s most vulnerable youth

The Toronto Youth Equity Strategy was released Tuesday. The report will go to the city’s development and recreation committee next week.

by Patty Winsa , Toronto Star

A comprehensive youth violence strategy released by the city Tuesday recommends appointing a councillor to serve as a “youth equity champion” and the creation of a city-wide committee to combat the problem.

The youth equity champion, who would be appointed in 2015, would promote the strategy in council and other levels of government, a position that has been missing since the city’s youth advocate position was eliminated years ago.

The city committee would include a staff representative from every department that serves youth. It is just one of a number of action plans contained in the strategy to help young people who are most vulnerable to violence or at risk of being involved in crime.

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The Are You an ALLY? Campaign

Because quality health care is equitable health care

from Mount Sinai Hospital

Mount Sinai

Have you ever witnessed discrimination or harassment take place? Would you know how to react? Welcome to the “Are You An ALLY?” campaign website. Here you will find six videos and other educational tools to better understand the perspectives and experiences of people who experience discrimination. With these tools you can learn how to interrupt discrimination or harassment when it occurs.

Where you live matters: Canadian views on health care quality

from Health Council of Canada

Report shows Canadians have different health care experiences Health Council of Canada releases 2013 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey results

Toronto, ON (January 20, 2014) – Today, the Health Council of Canada released results from the 2013 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of the General Public. Where You Live Matters: Canadian views on health care quality is the eighth and final bulletin in the Canadian Health Care Matters series.

The report focuses on differences across the 10 provinces, comparisons among the 11 OECD countries that participated in the survey, and changes in Canada’s performance over the past decade. These results show that where a person lives does matter. Canada shows largely disappointing performance compared to other high-income countries, some of which have made impressive progress. Also, there is considerable variation among provinces.

Survey results show that Canadians’ views about the health care system have grown more positive in the last decade, and more than half (61 per cent) rate their health status as very good or excellent, putting Canada among the top three of the 11 countries surveyed. However, there remain large and concerning variations in patients’ experiences in terms of access to care, coordination and integration of care, patient safety and preventive care.

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The issue is not poor children but family poverty

If we’re going to get serious, the wealthiest of us have to bend

by Dennis Raphael, The Hamilton Spectator

The last few weeks have seen much hand wringing about the continuing high levels of child poverty in Canada. Various solutions are offered such as increasing the basic benefits provided to parents of low-income children, improving educational practice, as well as a hodgepodge of measures designed to make living in poverty more palatable (e.g., free dental care for poor children, removing recreation fees, etc.)

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How poverty is killing us

by John Millar and Laurel Rothman, iPolitics

Every year, Campaign 2000, a non-partisan public education movement to build awareness around poverty issues in Canada, releases a report on the state of our country’s children. It doesn’t paint a rosy picture.

This year’s report shows that child poverty in Canada continues at a high and unacceptable level, with income inequality continuing to grow. Most provinces and all three territories have recognized this as a crisis, and have put in place poverty reduction plans. Unfortunately, the federal government has yet to come to the table, or to create a poverty reduction plan of its own, despite numerous recommendations from its own reports to do just that.

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Welfare in Canada 2012

by Anne Tweddle, Ken Battle and Sherri Torjman, Caledon Institute of Social Policy

This report focuses on the incomes of four different households living on social assistance, commonly known as “welfare.” It is a continuation of the welfare incomes series published regularly by the former National Council of Welfare.

Total welfare incomes consist of the sum of two main components:

  • social assistance
  • provincial/territorial and federal child benefits as well as relevantprovincial/territorial and federal tax credits.

Social assistance is the program of last resort. It is intended for persons who have exhausted all other means of financial support. Every province and territory has its own social assistance program, so no two are the same.

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House of Commons income inequality report fails poor Canadians

from Citizens for Public Justice

Citizens for Public JusticeOTTAWA: December 11, 2013 – A report on income inequality released by the House of Commons’ Finance Committee yesterday doesn’t do nearly enough to address the needs of low-income Canadians, says national faith-based organization Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ).

According to CPJ’s Making Ends Meet report, released today, low-income families are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living. Making Ends Meet is the final report in CPJ’s Poverty Trends Scorecard series and notes that since the 2008-09 recession, the average price of goods and services has risen 6.7 per cent. Meanwhile, the average after-tax income for the poorest 20 per cent of households fell by 1.3 per cent over that same period. Many low-income families are turning to food banks, shelters, and credit cards to get by.

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