Tag Archives: social conditions

(1290) On the poverty trail

A winter view of the Wentworth Stairs, Hamilton escarpment.
In a balanced community, the trails and parks are major assets.  Greenery and recreation outside are important to so many things, from the development of children to cleaning the air we breathe.  Scenery and recreation are fairly described as necessities.
Something is off when such assets are pressed into use as places to live.  Anyone travelling to Los Angeles lately will have been struck with the scale of urban outdoor living there.  It seems like much of the city has been commandeered by raggedy tents and tarps stretched between poles and sticks to define some privacy for people experiencing socio-economic difficulty.
Such encroachment is problematic in a host of ways.  Safety and hygiene are a challenge for the homeless, to say the least.  Outdoor living in parks and along trails also reduces the pleasure and benefit of such places on the part of others.  It can eliminate that pleasure and benefit completely in some cases.  So, in the best uncomfortable-to-read tradition of this blog we therefore link you to a newspaper item about Hamilton, Ontario.
Hopefully, this issue will receive some sensible amelioration.  Just as the smoke from burning fires in the north seeps across the horizon a sense of psychological uneasiness with the social prospects for Ontario swirls outward as the primal, humid days of Premier Ford’s era unfold.
Hamilton’s ‘out-of-control’ rental market is pushing more homeless to camp out in parks and on streets, advocates say
The Star/Hamilton Spectator on msn.com
image: Colin Payson via Flickr/CC

(1279) Slate series


A series in Slate does the job working over the downward tilt in fortune for American suburban living.  Worth a visit.  I suppose we Ontarians are looking to protect ourselves from this kind of socioeconomic illness how?
By electing Doug Ford premier?

Hope not.

More families feel insecure. That’s because they are.
In the suburbs, income is more volatile, and you’re more vulnerable
slate.com  Suburban Slide

image: Tomovox via Flickr/CC

(1274) Words from Ontario basic income trial


Ontario’s basic income pilot has begun to produce some observations and anecdotes.  A thorough, high level analysis will need to be done at the conclusion of the three-year, three-community trial but expectations are high.  The pilot project is not quite a full-on basic income, more of a test apparatus designed to gather evidence of what actually happens in the lives of a recipient.
Yes, there is still a fair bit of naysaying and skepticism out there.  Some of it from surprising directions like a major anti-poverty activist here in Ontario and from union figures.  Another hurdle may be the upcoming provincial election.  All kinds of right wing critters and neoliberal reactionaries are looking for power, for gravy trains to stop, as it were.  The pilot project may be an early target in the election and for whoever gets into the premier’s office.  In the meantime, words from the participants are appropriate.
From ‘barely surviving’ to thriving: Ontario basic income recipients report less stress, better health. The three-year pilot project, which began last summer, is testing whether no-strings-attached cash support can boost health, education and housing for people living in poverty
thestar.com
image: Hefin Owen via Flickr/CC

(1261) Bomb Cyclone: an indoors poverty reading list


To keep you out of harm’s way should recent weather warnings turn out not to be exaggerations – some features about having the kinds of communities we’d like to have.
Media get it wrong on Bank of Canada minimum wage study
rozkowski.org
The places that may never recover from the recession.
The Rust Belt isn’t the only region left behind by the economic recovery. The suburbs of the American west are struggling, too
citylab.com
In defence of degrowth
counterpunch.org
The next financial crisis will be worse than the last one
truthdig.com
Any shame around poverty lies with the society that perpetuates it, not the poor
trhuth-out.org
Where you live should not harm your health
acto.ca
Poor neighbourhoods make the best investments
strongtowns.org
image: via Flickr/CC

 

(1239) Struggle Street

Suburban poverty has its own awful Australian TV show.  Great! It looks like some of what is often called poverty porn found on UK TV and must surely generate similar feelings.  On one hand this kind of thing brings attention to issues of poverty and social difficulty under neo-liberalism in a resource-research country (sound familiar Canada?).  On the other hand does it change anything, help anyone?

(1226) Vancouver: curbing the cost of living there


West Point Grey is out toward University of British Columbia and mostly it embodies the best of things Vancouver has to offer.  Unless you are living there in a van.  Such folk seem to be all over town now.  For the moment, the police are concerned about the phenomenon but there are no plans for a US-style crackdown on van dwellers.  As long as the vehicles remain mobile and nuisances are kept to a minimum it appears that this improvised manner of living is set to take hold.  Why?  Vancouver always had its share of social difficulty.  After all, it’s comparatively mild, and it is literally the end of the road in Canada.  Now it is also stupidly expensive for most waged workers.  Small wonder, really.
Car-dwellers rising: life on the curb of Canada’s most expensive city
cbc.ca/news
See also: (338) Globe on hacking housing crisis in van
image: A Kwanten via Flickr/CC

(1223) Edwardian Toronto


Toronto’s Edwardian past is still here in much of the street grid and through older built structures.  Unfortunately, you could say the way many a Torontonian lives right now is Edwardian.
Minimum-wage earners in Toronto do not make enough money to thrive. Report finds that residents need more than double what they earn on minimum wage, and that social policies need to be adjusted to meet the needs to present-day society
image: Daniel Varas via Flickr/CC