Despite federal, provincial, and territorial governments devoting a lot of effort on plans to reduce poverty in recent years, too many Canadians continue to struggle to meet their basic daily needs on incomes that fall far below the poverty line. And, among all household groups, single persons without dependants are most likely to find themselves in these dire circumstances. Working-age singles constitute the largest proportion of beneficiaries on social assistance, and they are three times as likely to live in poverty as the average Canadian. The average income of singles living in deep poverty is less than $10,000 a year, which includes social assistance benefits. Yet, they have been overlooked in social policy reforms for several decades and in many ways remain the “forgotten poor.”
The pandemic has laid bare the deep cracks in our systems, from education and health to employment standards and income supports. We have been forced to face up to longstanding inequities and injustices that Indigenous people, women, Black people, and other racialized groups have borne for years. They have suffered some of the worst impacts of the virus.
We need progressive tax reform to ensure that the burden of the pandemic is fairly shared. A recent Abacus Data poll found that most Canadians agree that the fiscal burden of the crisis should be fairly shared, and that those with the most should pay the most. Indeed, 75% of respondents favoured a tax of 1-2% on large fortunes, (44% strongly support and 31% support) including 69% of even Conservative voters.
A coalition of organizations is urging the federal government to crack down on financial crime after Canadian banks, shell companies, and individuals were identified in a global investigation into suspicious financial activity.
Last night, Halifax Regional Council passed a motion that will make a real difference in the lives of some low-wage workers in the Halifax Regional Municipality. The CCPA-NS applauds the Council and urges it to stay the course.
Those with young and school-aged children are caught in an anxiety-inducing parent trap. Parents are having sleepless nights fearing for their jobs while also being worried about the health and well-being of their kids. But we argue that it shouldn’t be this way. Solving the Parent Trap is a policy series on transforming childcare and education featuring ideas from Janet Davis, Nigel Barriffe, Marit Stiles, Beyhan Fahardi and Maria Dobrinskaya and edited by Katrina Miller and Brittany Andrew-Amofah.
New information from a survey commissioned by the Broadbent Institute shows that a majority of Canadians (54 per cent) want to see the federal government announce bold new ideas for how to fundamentally improve people’s lives and deal with climate change in next week’s throne speech. The desire for major changes is consistent across Canada and across the political spectrum. This is likely informed by the fact that only 19 per cent of Canadians think the worst of the pandemic is behind us and 65 per cent believe the pandemic has highlighted problems with how the economy and social programs are run that require major changes.
Economic losses due to COVID-19 have fallen heavily on women, and most dramatically on women living on low incomes who experience intersecting inequalities based on race, class, disability, education, migration, and immigration status. The pandemic crisis has revealed the fragility of response systems and the urgent need for structural rethinking and systemic change.
According to analysis from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), of the other sectors of the economy, 65% of the deficit was spent on households, 12% on supporting corporations with 5% going to the provinces. That 75% of the deficit for households breaks down into 27% on jobless benefits, 24% on payroll supports and 7% on lower income taxes (because incomes fell).