This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Susan FitzGerald reports on new research that growing up in poverty has a significantly more damaging effect on a child’s development than exposure to drugs – leading to obvious questions as to why so many governments loudly wage a nominal war on the former while allowing the latter to fester. And John Millar and Laurel Rothman highlight the need for Canada’s federal government to address the social costs of poverty.
- Meanwhile, Neal Abernathy writes about the importance of the public sphere in both bringing together and reflecting the shared interests of (Read more…)
Assorted content for your weekend reading.
- Lana Payne writes that Canadians care plenty about the well-being of hungry children even if the Cons don’t: After a firestorm of shocked responses from Canadians, Mr. Moore apologized for his “insensitive comment” uttered days before Christmas. What he did not apologize for or reassess was his belief in the kind of fend-for-yourself country his remarks support.
The apology came likely because this is the season of goodwill and it is no time to remind Canadians what drives the current federal government, begging the question of why it is tolerated any time of (Read more…)
Here, on how James Moore’s disinclination to care about his neighbours is par for the course from the Harper Cons – and how we should learn the lesson about caring and compassion that Moore and his party are so studiously avoiding.
For further reading…- Again, Sara Norman’s original story is here, while PressProgress and Laura Payton both helped to put it in context. – My recap of Moore’s other events from the week is drawn from his activity in Monday’s Hansard, as well as his office’s most recent statements as of the time the column was (Read more…)
Possibly you have read of the shocking statements on child poverty this week from the federal minister of Industry, James Moore. I’ll repeat them here for the record, with a warning that the contents may be disturbing to some readers: […]
Ontario’s minimum wage has been frozen since 2010. It’s the second longest period minimum-wage workers have gone without a raise since 1969.
Oftentimes discussions about how much and how often to raise the minimum wage get positioned in relation…
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- Scott Doherty recognizes that Saskatchewan’s failure to collect a reasonable royalty rate for potash and other natural resources is directly responsible for the province crying poor when workers are laid off. And Alex Himelfarb points out that the magical theory behind perpetual tax cuts is purely a matter of illusion rather than reality. We are more than just consumers and taxpayers. We are citizens with responsibilities for one another; we undertake to do some things together, things that we could never do alone or that we can do much better collectively. Taxes are (Read more…)
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Industry Minister James Moore wins the Scrooge 2013 Award for Honesty by being frank about his, and presumably his party’s, utter lack of social compassion. When the MP for the B.C. riding of Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam appeared on a Vancouver talk show this week and was asked about alarming rates of child poverty in Canada, he denied the reality of millions of poor Canadians.
A coalition in Vancouver has developed a package to add a social justice component to your school food bank drive. Children are encouraged to colour pictures of cans and send them to a politician. Gil Aguilar is with the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition….
Bill Walker walked into the room with a big smile but his body language gave away his discomfort of being a Tory MPP in a union hall. He constantly fidgeted with his purple scarf and never strayed far from the … Continue reading →
Assorted content to end your week.
- Hassan Arif theorizes that a failure to identify and address growing inequality may have played a significant role in the rise of Rob Ford’s destructive anti-socialism: The Toronto of towering new condos, of downtown coffee shops and trendy restaurants and stores, is far removed from the Toronto of these low-income, suburban, and largely visible minority residents. A “plain-talking” politician who rails against downtown elites, against “slick talking lawyers”, “consultants”, and recipients of “research grants” appeals to those who feel left behind.…These concerns, about suburban alienation, about inequality, are concerns that need to (Read more…)
Thursday, December 5, 2013
The holiday season is upon us. Sadly, the big retailers are Scrooges when it comes to paying their staffs. Und…
“I’m sorry, Eric, but there is nothing we can do for you.” Sharp pain and anger grew in my chest as I stared across the large wooden desk. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes.
“Are you going to be OK? Let me know if I can do anything…
This week, the United States is celebrating their national holiday, or rather that of the American Dream in its most mercantile, superficial — and bloody — incarnation. Black Friday is the day which unofficially kicks off the holiday shopping …
Assorted content to end your week.
- Stuart Trew fleshes out the Cons’ new(-ly explicit) Corporate Cronies Action Plan – and it goes even further in entrenching corporate control over policy than one might have expected at first glance: – The makeup of the advisory panel that consulted with Trade Minister Fast skews the new Action Plan in favour energy- and water-intensive agricultural export sectors, multinational business represented by the CCCE, and the energy sector. There was no worker representation on the advisory committee. And the involvement of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is arguably more of a (Read more…)
Minimum-wage workers are not just teenagers working at fast-food restaurants after school. According to the Manitoba Federation of Labour, 55 per cent of minimum wage earners in Manitoba are adults twenty years and older; 51 per cent of minimum-…
This and that for your Thursday reading.
- The Economist takes a look at the effect of international trade agreements – and confirms the long-held concern that the erosion and non-enforcement of labour standards consistently follows the signing of government suicide pacts: Some results are rather unsurprising. Countries with better civil liberties tend to have higher labour standards. Countries in the OECD, which are richer, do better than those outside (only one OECD member, Turkey, has a score less than 15). But other results in the paper are alarming. During the 1980s and 1990s, the labour-rights index fell precipitously (see (Read more…)
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.
- John Ibbitson reports that the Cons’ obvious priorities have finally been made explicit: as far as they’re concerned, the sole purpose of international diplomacy is to serve the corporate sector. And Ian Smillie documents how the Cons hijacked Canada’s foreign aid program (while signalling that the same path is likely to be followed by the Cons’ Australian Liberal allies).
- Meanwhile, CBC uncovers a offshore tax avoidance scheme perpetrated by one of the Cons’ hand-picked tax advisers (and chair of the Royal Canadian Mint).
- Rhys Kesselman highlights the fact that contrary to (Read more…)
Walmart is holding a food drive for its… wait for it… own employees.
A Walmart store in Ohio is asking employees to give out of the goodness of their hearts to ensure that their fellow associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner (which in the United States happens this Thursday).
Walmart’s head office is attempting to sell this as a feel-good story. “Just look at how generous and thoughtful our employees are,” says the public relations department. “We have clearly fostered an atmosphere of generosity and caring among coworkers. Our employees rally together and take care of each other in times of ‘extreme’ hardship.” This, apparently, is the Walmart spirit at work.
OTTAWA – Ottawa should funnel predicted multi-billion-dollar budget surpluses into helping Canadians who are…
This and that for your Sunday reading.
- Ellen Roseman writes about the need to recognize the value of public services – and to ensure that they’re properly funded: Canadians value their high-quality public services, such as education and health care. Many understand that public services democratize consumption and help tame the market forces leading to income inequality.
Yet they still fall prey to the false promises of politicians who say tax cuts won’t change anything and may even improve their lives. In the book, economist Hugh Mackenzie urges readers to think their way through the day, making a note (Read more…)
A lot of hope is dangerous. – President Snow
This may be a little hokey, but I think Catching Fire is an important film to see right now.
And it’s awesome!
I read the books ages ago, but even though I know how they each end, it didn’t stop me from being on the edge of my seat. And I was surprised by how inspirational I found the film to be.
Grist relates how the books chronicle what happens after climate change destroys the world and makes for scarce resources for the survivors to fight over. We have a really (Read more…)
It seems everywhere I turn people are talking income inequality. Whether it’s on the pages of the current Globe and Mail series, “The Wealth Paradox,” or in the Toronto-Centre by-election where both front-runners claim to be experts on the subje…
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Angella MacEwen rightly slams the Cons’ attempt to use Employment Insurance funds as a subsidy for employers at the expense of workers. And Don Lenihan sees the Cons’ structure as a cynical means of trying to claim success by ignoring the actual purpose of funding for training: This reassignment of resources from one social group to another is neither open nor transparent. On the contrary, as we’ve seen, the CJG requires an investment by the sponsoring employer. The unspoken point here is that employers are highly unlikely to sponsor anyone other than (Read more…)
Unlike everything else in the news, this isn’t about Rob Ford.
I’m going to merge some Fraser Institute news with recent discussions in class, an old Munk Debate on religion, and some ideas from David Hume. Here we go!
Kate McInturff writes at the CCPA that the Fraser Institute,
“would like to remove compassion from the policy debate about poverty in Canada….because….compassion is causing us to confuse those who have lower income with those who do not have enough income to sustain life.”
The interesting bit to me is just these few words: ”compassion is causing (Read more…)
They have a dream, but, if trends continue, that dream could turn out to be a nightmare. January was a record month for the Salvation Army food bank. They served 2,200 clients, about 200 more than in January 2012. That … Continue Reading
In August I announced the resumption of Barrie’s monthly Food Not Bombs dinners, featuring community-prepared vegan meals offered free to all. My activities since then have kept me connected to local food security: helping at Rosie’s Thanksgiving dinner and providing the Barrie Food Bank over a ton of fresh fruit in FruitShare Barrie’s pilot season. Like all successful projects, these involve the efforts and donations of many community members, and luckily, these efforts seem to have the support of everyone who hears of them, or at least, nobody seems to speak against them.
This and that for your Tuesday reading.- George Monbiot discusses how another corporate investment agreement – this time one between Europe and the U.S. patterned after CETA – will transfer yet more power from people and their elected governments to co…
OTTAWA – The number of Canadians using food banks has fallen off slightly but…
Raise the Rates issued their second annual Welfare Challenge last month. Participants were asked to eat on the amount of money a welfare recipient has left over after other expenses are paid. Denise Swanson and Wes Regan took the challenge. They speak …
This week, 16,000 high school students will be bused to the MTS centre to attend “We Day” and be encouraged to help others. Organized by social enterpreneurs Mark and Craig Kielburger, their globally branded Free the Children charity by all meas…
An old church in an affluent part of town takes a community-focused approach to helping low-income Torontonians.
Gordon Jenkins Junior puts his newspaper clippings on the table. Some are weathered and yellow; some are crisp and whitish-grey. He’s been following articles about poverty for a long time. He’s one of 70,000 single people in Toronto (there are separate statistics for families) who are struggling to stay at or above the poverty line [...]
I can see now that I’m going to make it to the end of this week (last year, a number of people who took the challenge didn’t make it). With my $26 I was able to purchase sufficient quantity, but not great nutrition. I’ve had no fresh or leafy gr…
Fascinating to see all the comments on these blog posts.
I want to highlight Dale’s comments in response to my Day 3 post in particular.
Some may read these posts and point out that people with a recognized disability (those with PWD status in o…
Last week, I gave a presentation on public policy responding to homelessness in Canada, with a focus on the past decade. I gave the presentation at this year’s annual conference of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association.
Points I made i…
It is very boring eating the same food every day — oatmeal, peanut butter sandwich, an apple, soup or pasta. No treats, no variety.
My other observation is that living on this budget means you think about food all the time — When can I next ea…
David Madden argues that gentrification is not synonymous with urban renewal. Madden is an assistant professor in the Sociology Department and the Cities Program at the London School of Economics. He’s the author of a recent article in the Guardian, Gentrification doesn’t trickle down to help everyone. David Madden speaks with Redeye host Jane Williams.
To find out more about Redeye, check out our website.
Day 2, and I’ve already bent the rules. The battle against the cold is not going well, so I’m taking some cold medicine and drinking tea (which was not in my budget).
Otherwise, still on the plan. For dinner last night I had some of the large so…
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