Back to class, not just for the future workers, heads of families, homebuyers and consumers either. It’s always been about class, kids. Two thought pieces from the Canadian media on a topic they would much prefer to ignore most days. A long one and a short one, both on point. It’s not an ‘affordability crisis’, it’s a class conflict thestar.com
Some news we can revel in. A retreat in poverty levels in Canada, especially for children, has come about. Considering what it’s like to delve into issues of poverty and social difficulty most of the time it should be hard to find anyone unhappy with this. Credit goes to a revamping of child tax benefits at federal level. This has not been picked up as robustly as we thought it would have but it is so encouraging to see that people can change systems and circumstances. Yes, there is work and research to be done. Nova Scotia seems to have been left out of things for some reason and there have, apparently, been changes made to methodology when it comes to officially counting child poverty which urges some caution. Nontheless, we’ll take it and the politicians on side with this should feel a sense of reward.
We are what we eat. The Canada Food Guide has been around pretty much forever and the latest iteration offers a chance to reflect. It’s a well-meaning attempt to, well, make life better. Over the years it has been adjusted to reflect medical findings about sugar and fat, portion sizes and such. What we really need to get our heads around is that poverty interferes with good eating.
We first came across detailed recognition of transportation poverty in the form of reports from non-profit and academic sources in the UK. Canadians need not feel left out when it comes to our lived experience of this particular social difficulty. Just look at the first map of Canada’s business capital, a place run by a suburban millionaire who despises public services.
Ha! Excellent news after a rather dark week. Canadian clothier Simons is introducing a minimum wage of sixteen dollars an hour. Are we psychic predicting they will attract more customers with happier employees who give better service because the people they work for actually give a hoot about them? We know where we will be buying our new clothing in the coming years.
Here’s a link to that open letter from the people managing something like one point eight billion dollars worth of the national economy. Contrast the thinking behind their interest in universal basic income with that other item from same news cycle in which we find Tory/neoliberal playa Patrick Brown (MPP, Simcoe North) needed three hundred grand for his office expenses for two months. This man is part of an AUSTERITY government. One that just foisted a hospital cancellation on Brampton, one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, among other things.
What a curiosity these times are. Firstly that a right wing government member can be a hog wild spender with a robotic interest in power who also projects a surface interest in fiscal probity and professionalism mainly expressed through talking like a businessman. Secondly, the actual business managers are, here, in the role of social conservation.
Are these times in which the messages are mixed? You fucking bet they are.