The recognition of housing as a human right by Minister Duclos' office could be the turning point -- not just for how we view housing, but for poverty and other economic rights violations as well. To see housing as a right looks beyond the physical structure of a shelter to a number of other factors: access to sanitation, location, and access to services or employment, community, security of tenure, and cultural adequacy, as well as other rights such as health, life and dignity.
Details of the Ontario government's Climate Action Plan are out and the reviews are mixed. While the business sector will no doubt grumble about the cap-and-trade system in place to keep the province's climate program on track, it seems that the big losers will inevitably be people living in poverty.
After years of rarely hearing the P-word uttered by government -- or even media -- the undertaking to develop a national poverty plan sets a new tone for the federal government's assumption of accountability. Trudeau's letter recognizes that people living in poverty can no longer be sidelined.
When it comes to poverty in this country, there is no question about it: our national government is failing. Latest estimates peg poverty at 4.8 million across the country. While some provinces and territories have stepped up to address poverty in their communities, the lack of political will and leadership in Ottawa has left premiers without adequate funding, guidance and metrics to properly tackle the issue.
The head of a small Ottawa-based charity is in Geneva this week to complain to a United Nations committee about the Canada Revenue Agency's program of political-activity audits.
A report released today by the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre calls for sweeping reform of Canadian charitable law in line with other jurisdictions such as the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and England. Current rules around "political activity" are confusing and create an "intolerable state of uncertainty," the report says.
From personal attacks to commendable recommendations -- this is the legacy of a UN final report on the right to food in Canada. Prepared Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, following his mission to Canada last May, the report illustrates that current programs and policies are not enough to fend-off food insecurity felt by millions and calls for greater federal action.
On October 17, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, women who have a lived experience of poverty spoke to a group of parliamentarians, social justice organizations and community members at the Conference Centre in Ottawa to make sure a clear message was heard: poverty still exists, and there is no reason for this in a country as wealthy as Canada. A crucial next step is to develop a federal plan to end poverty.
A report released today by the Ontario Common Front states that Ontario is dead last in terms of growing poverty rates, rising inequality and spending on public services. It's the Fed's plan to invest $0 by 2016 in the federal affordable housing initiative, and cut other funds by 52 per cent. With all of the knowledge on the human and financial costs of poverty versus government savings, it is clear that action is necessary for greater prosperity for all in Canada.
News of the changes to EI left Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter, host of the upcoming Council of the Federation meeting, concerned that people will be pushed away from these critical industries causing them to suffer. Some argue that seasonal industries in the Atlantic Provinces, employing almost 20,000 people, are expected to be disproportionately affected.