(660) Arrival

welcome to canadaDoug Saunders, in Saturday’s Globe and Mail, pretty much nails it.

“…immigration and poverty are both now almost entirely suburban phenomena. And the suburbs aren’t as well suited to be the bottom rung on the ladder: they lack the population density, access to consumers, rapid transportation and small-business opportunities of the old arrival cities.”

Time to repopulate Canada’s arrival cities

(659) Four child poverty charts

child povertyA major indicator for child poverty is the number of charts made to describe it.  Twenty-five years ago then NDP leader Ed Broadbent introduced a motion in Canada’s parliament to end child poverty.  It passed unanimously.  Right now, child poverty is up in Canada.  Where did we go wrong?  The economy is bigger than ever though we’ve had a stupid war or two and lots of neoconservatism since 1989.  Here’s four more charts for us to ponder.

Child poverty is up in Canada even after vowing in 1989 to end it

Mr. Broadbent in 1989:

(655) Faster than ever

Marie-Antoinette,_1775_-_Musée_Antoine_LécuyerSince forever, Canada’s rich have gotten richer.  Now, it’s the speed of it all.  Even America, the original home of all things zillionaire-ey, is behind us.  Wealth-X and UBS put this, and not a few other findings, in their new global report on ultra high net worth people.  There’s thought to be just under a quarter of a million such individuals worldwide and their status rests on $30-trillion in assets.  In 2008 and 2010 there were reports on Canada’s fast-movers, so the trend is looking quite solid.

The rich are getting richer — and faster than you think
Linda McQuaig in iPolitics

Canada’s rapidly growing wealth gap remains off the political agenda. Why?
Linda McQuaig on rabble.ca

image: Marie Antoinette by unknown artist via Wikimedia Commons

(652) One small look at poverty in Greater Toronto

redditA reader sent us a link to a thread on Reddit that gives an uncensored view of poverty in Toronto.  Some of the squalid force that creates suburban poverty is seen in this thread where housing, ill health and some mental health difficulty have converged in one individual’s life.  Hopefully this works out for the people involved.

How the hell do the poor survive in this city?

(649) Social safety

GrantThis cold week of Remembrance Day 2014 included the voice of Harry Leslie Smith, 91.  Smith experienced the Great Depression and World War II, firstly as a child, then as a working person and soldier.  The difficulties and losses of those years are attached, in a book Smith has written, to the progress made after 1945.  Harry’s Last Stand describes its author’s fear that the erosion of the security and quality of life for middle and working class people is disastrous in ways all too familiar to his generation.  Young people coming of age in an era of austerity and inequality face diminished prospects according to Smith.  His words are delivered gently but carry very serious things.

Why this 91-year old veteran fears we’re losing what we won after WWII

And the very same week, what appears other than a brutal report on child poverty in Toronto?  This is why social safety nets were invented and need to be fought for.  This is exactly what Smith is talking about.

Hidden epidemic: a report on child and family poverty in Toronto

(646) Three Hamiltons talk living wages

HamiltonA town each in Canada, Scotland and New Zealand share the name Hamilton.  On poverty and wages they appear to speak the same language.  Minimum wages are not enough in these places to fully participate in life and keep individuals healthy through proper housing and living conditions.  Those participating in this internet discussion, recorded this afternoon, explain their take on living wages as the preferred approach to pulling people who work out of poverty.

3 Hamiltons meet to discuss their living wage efforts