Most Canadian households are better off than U.S. counterparts

U.S. households not only live with higher income inequality than in Canada but more than half are worse off in terms of purchasing power

Regardless of whether America is great, or about to be great again, a new analysis shows that Canadians outrank Americans on household income. The Economist magazine recently devoted a long section to a profile of Canada with frequent comparisons to the United States. Among the statistics highlighted were that Canadians’ life expectancy was three years…

Come on, get happy: if a survey says we are, it must be true

Apparently, as you get older you get happier. Sclerotic, arthritic, calcified, deaf, blind, stupid and poor equals happy? Where do I sign up?

Come on, get happy: if a survey says we are, it must be trueIn a few years, people my age will get back pain, clogged arteries, brittle bones, hearing loss, cataracts, arthritis, heart disease, dementia and schizophrenia. What they won’t get, apparently, is unhappy about it. Citing a recent national survey, Canadian Press reports that older people in this country are generally more buoyant than younger ones. In…

Child benefit program pays dividends but presents hurdles

Governments need to be careful that benefits don’t discourage social institutions that strengthen families and communities

Child benefit program pays dividends but presents hurdlesParents will receive an increase in the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) this month. The program has been widely credited with reducing child poverty, yet the benefit is not without challenges. The cost-of-living adjustment boosts the maximum compensation for a child under age six to $6,639 annually and maximum compensation for children between the ages of…

Tax bill an increasing burden for Canadian families

The cost of living was the number one concern for a third of all Canadians surveyed, according to a recent poll. And rising taxes contribute significantly to those costs

Tax bill an increasing burden for Canadian familiesBy Jake Fuss and Finn Poschmann The Fraser Institute A recent CBC News poll reported that the cost of living is one of the biggest issues worrying Canadians today. And yes, while trend inflation has been very low for a decade, it’s ticking up sharply. So although it’s easy to understand why Canadians are anxious…

Overstated poverty claims paint false picture

Using multiple sources of data can bring circumstances into sharper focus. That will allow us to concentrate on helping only those people who are truly in need

Overstated poverty claims paint false pictureClaims of rising inequality are rampant in the media, mainly because many pundits confuse inequality with poverty and assume that the poor are enjoying lower living standards than before. But there’s no reason to expect poverty to move in the same direction as inequality – incomes rising at an uneven pace will reduce problems of…

It’s time to change the culture of living with a disability in Canada

The disability family has been an afterthought for governments, service agencies and organizations for far too long

It’s time to change the culture of living with a disability in CanadaCan you imagine this? It's just a few years from today and there have been a lot of positive changes for persons living with disabilities and their families in Canada. We have a new Canadians With Disabilities Act. Our government has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Across the country, there…

How the world can win the hunger games

It's not a scarcity issue, it's about knowledge and access. We have the means to fix that, in Canada and globally

How the world can win the hunger gamesHunger is horrid, an undesirable state few deliberately choose. We know that over 800 million suffer from hunger around the globe. In the Western world, hunger surrounds us without knowing that it’s there. It’s estimated that four million Canadians experience food insecurity regularly. World Hunger Day, on May 28, should help bring that into focus.…

Always ask the fundamental question: Is this life-giving?

We cannot allow profit to be more important than the well-being of the human family

Always ask the fundamental question: Is this life-giving?Since taking office in 2013, the world has been calmed by the presence of Pope Francis. The documentary A Man of His Word notes his lifelong effort to respect each person, regardless of their station in life. Since becoming Pope, he has emphasized the importance of giving homes to refugees, challenged traditional Catholic teachings on…

Minimum wage hikes just push up need for government spending

Government intervention becomes necessary when goods and services are made too expensive as a result of wage hikes

Minimum wage hikes just push up need for government spendingMinimum wage hikes by provincial governments across Canada last year were sold as policy intended to make life easier for workers. However, advocates overlooked some of the negative of the policy. Now they’re prescribing yet more government interventions to remedy the problems caused by the wage hike. When the Ontario government hiked the minimum wage…

Vancouver’s bike-walk bias is costly and unjustified

Money budgeted for an elevated greenway for walkers and bikers should go to housing the homeless or easing traffic congestion

Vancouver’s bike-walk bias is costly and unjustifiedVancouver is a great city. For people like me who use their feet for most of their transportation, it’s wonderful. But sometimes city decision-makers go overboard. For recreation and exercise, there’s the 28-km seawall, part of which circles Stanley Park. It’s been voted the best place to run in Canada. There’s also the nine-km Arbutus…