While the incomes of Canada's wealthiest are increasing, the absolute wealth of our poorest is decreasing. As this gap grows, so too do the differences in people's health risks, care and outcome. The poorer people are in Ontario, the more likely they are to have shorter lifespans, to be overdue for screening tests and to suffer from multiple chronic health conditions.
Inequality limits the potential of children, increasing their risk of poor health, lower earnings and lower skills in adulthood. Affluent nations with wide inequality gaps tend to have fewer children in great health and well-being, so it's not only the most disadvantaged children who suffer the consequences of inequality.
Whether it's the "fact" that women earn 75 cents or 79 cents (or whatever this year's figure is) for every dollar men earn, we are regularly inundated with these catchy, but essentially meaningless, statistics. While it may be true that there is an overall wage gap between men and women, there is no great inequity that needs righting.
In many countries, there is a debate over how much power we give to corporations. And it is boosting populist right-wing parties and left-wing parties that are against trade. In Europe, many of the right-wing parties are opposing free trade agreements. At the same time, from the left of the spectrum, voices such as Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are also targeting free trade.
Unemployment and income inequality are issues that are plaguing both countries; so, policies to ameliorate rather than exacerbate them need to be considered. Further research need to be conducted to understand the impact of the TPP on Canada and the U.S. before the trade agreement goes into effect.
2133 is when the World Economic Forum is predicting global gender parity. And it's back to the future on wages. Only now in 2016 are women earning the amount men did in 2006. Despite the gloomy prediction and statistic, I believe the gender gap can and will be closed within my lifetime.
What we have done for far too long is simply not working. Even with all the social supports in place, the resulting income is often only enough to maintain a family in poverty. At their worst, existing policies and programs actually entrap people in poverty. This is why we need a new way. A basic income would work as a tax credit administered through the taxation system similar to the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors. If someone earns less or has less than the poverty line, they would simply be topped up to a point above the poverty line.
Gendered pay inequality is more than just an injustice. It negatively impacts the health and welfare of Canadian families. It undermines the potential for growth and competitiveness in Ontario's economy by withholding financial resources from the very people who manage their household finances.
Creating work environments that reflect the reality that both women and men are working and raising children is critical to not only women, but to the competitiveness of the economy. We are not maximizing the talent pool when 50 per cent of the population is absent from the vast majority of leadership roles that shape our economy.
[Obama] argued that globalization was eroding workers' rights and concentrating economic benefits at the top, that it is now harder for people to pull themselves out of poverty. In the same breath, he flogs the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Come again?
The push for doctors to treat social issues like poverty is starting to change the way we practice medicine and how we work with community agencies and those with expertise in income benefits, food security and poverty law. Many health organizations now are right in the middle of advocacy for better social conditions. Major medical organizations, including the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian College of Family Physicians have been vocal in their support for this approach. This demonstrates a real acceptance by the medical mainstream that reducing patients' poverty is a core part of a doctor's job.
The disconnect is clear. Canada's economy needs both genders at the wheel, but men are currently still doing the majority of the driving. What can businesses do to improve? The good news is that there are a number of solutions, but they need to be taken seriously.
Small things feel like huge, looming crises because you are so weary emotionally. Every day you are treading water to stay afloat. It's easy to feel hopeless. This is why a partnership with a food bank becomes a lifeline. A beacon of hope in your own personal storm.
Food banks have been helping more than 700,000 people each month for the past 15 years. These are children, families, single people and working households who need help just to have enough food to eat -- and each month, 80,000 are asking for help for the very first time.
Millions of workers across Ontario lack access to paid sick days and job protection. For many, taking a sick day is simply not an option. This gap in access to an important protection disproportionately affects people in low-wage jobs and precarious work, a sure signal about the unfairness of employment standards.
Obesity rates and diseases stemming from weight problems continue to rise. While healthy eating and regular exercise have become commonplace among the educated and affluent, the less fortunate show little signs of improvement regardless of efforts by health experts and government policy makers.