Huffington Post: Canada Needs a Poverty Plan

11-1-12

October was a month that focused on poverty issues, from the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on the 17th, to reports by Citizens for Public Justice and Food Banks Canada that highlighted the need to address poverty in Canada.  In an effort to raise awareness of the almost 900,000 people in Canada using food banks each month, and the growing rates of the working poor, CWP blogged about the need for federal involvement in addressing poverty on the Huffington Post Canada website. 

Here is an excerpt:

“While countries across the world have found themselves struggling with the effects of recession, Canada has fared well during this period and boasted about having the strongest economic growth in comparison to other G7 nations. Yet, despite this over three million people living in Canada struggle in poverty and many of these individuals are employed.

Food Banks Canada reported this week that a record-setting 882,188 people are visiting food banks each month. The report notes that this is 2.4 per cent higher than last year, and a shocking 31 per cent higher than before the recession hit in 2008. Clearly Canada’s strong economic record is not telling the whole story. Low-income is cited as the main reason for increased food bank use,

“People asking for help are working in low-paying jobs, receiving meagre social assistance benefits, managing on inadequate pensions.”

…The working poor have become a shocking part of the poverty equation with more individuals working precarious or low-paying jobs. This was noted in a recent report Poverty Trends Report Card — Canada 2012 Citizens for Public Justice. Add to this the reality that long-term unemployment is on the rise and it becomes more apparent that job stability is not a luxury that everyone holds. The report also notes that 40 per cent of families struggling in poverty have one person working, while 12 per cent of poor households have two or more people working.

To make matters worse, women and racialized persons earn less than their counter parts in the work place. Women are now earning only 74 per cent of what men earn, and if you are a racialized woman you earn only $0.53 cents to the dollar compared to a non-racialized man.”

To read the full blog go the Huffington Post Canada website.