Let’s lift all Canadians out of poverty

The time has come for Canada to have a dialogue about a national basic income program

Let’s lift all Canadians out of povertyA basic income guarantee has been back in the news a lot lately, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and other tech giants who have publicly endorsed the concept. But it’s not just talk in Canada. Ontario is piloting a basic income across three cities, Quebec has brought in a basic income for…

King-for-a-day solutions to homelessness don’t work

If we’re serious about ending homelessness, we need to institute long-term solutions across all levels of government

King-for-a-day solutions to homelessness don’t workThree years ago, I set out for clinic on the kind of morning like those we’ve been having in Toronto lately, where the hair in your nostrils freezes with each breath. I had walked about two intersections before I realized my fingers were stiff from cold – of course, I had forgotten my gloves. So…

Charity is not enough to fight poverty, social inequality

Food banks remain a symptom of bigger problems – poverty and social inequality. We need systemic change to fix those bigger problems

Charity is not enough to fight poverty, social inequalityWe’ve just emerged from the season when everyone wants to help support their local food bank initiatives. But ‘sharing the season’ always poses a tough question for me: How do we help our neighbours when, according to Canada Without Poverty, there are 4.9 million neighbours to help? The number of Canadians in need only seems…

Seeing red about Canada’s inadequate AIDS policy

We need more courageous policy action at all levels of government to address the structural drivers of HIV/AIDS

Seeing red about Canada’s inadequate AIDS policyBy Suzanne Hindmarch University of New Brunswick and Michael Orsini University of Ottawa We’re seeing red. This month, as World AIDS Day came around, we found ourselves getting angry. The red ribbon has long been a potent symbol of HIV/AIDS activism, signifying anger at the bureaucratic red tape that, in the 1980s, delayed release of…

The work to end poverty and homelessness is just beginning

The National Housing Strategy’s $40-billion investment is good news for Canada. But the devil is in the details

The work to end poverty and homelessness is just beginningAt last, Canada stands with other developed nations with its new National Housing Strategy (NHS). But while this historic step forward by the federal government represents what many activists have sought for decades, is it time to rejoice? Will the staggering $40 billion promised over 10 years amend nearly a quarter of a century of federal…

Housing First can curb the high cost of homelessness

Homelessness costs Canadians big money without addressing the causes

Housing First can curb the high cost of homelessnessFor most of his life, Murray Barr was an ordinary American. Everything changed abruptly when his story of personal tragedy and period of homelessness created a media frenzy. Malcom Gladwell, in his article Million Dollar Murray, used Murray as an example of how homelessness was costing taxpayers in Reno, Nevada, around $1 million despite Murray not…

The best kind of social medicine in Medicine Hat

By eliminating homelessness, the Alberta city has reduced the crime rate, the workload on first responders, hospital emergency visits and pressure on the courts

The best kind of social medicine in Medicine HatFormer American president Jimmy Carter said, “The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.” Serving those in need may seem simply like the charitable thing to do. When we look a bit deeper, however, we see that many social programs help the entire population. Even on a…
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