Inequality and poverty

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Key Findings from the Transportation Townhall meeting
First published in the Winnipeg Free Press September 28, 2018 In August the Free Press published an article (Safety complaints at Lord Selkirk Park, Aug. 24, 2018) that painted a very negative picture of Lord Selkirk Park, a large Manitoba Housing complex in Winnipeg’s North End. The story claimed that safety complaints had doubled in 2017, and that despite investments in the community, residents “are not seeing improvements.”
With the country facing significant and unpredictable headwinds going into another federal election year, the 2019 Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) shows that Canada can boost competitiveness and encourage innovation by investing in people, not by giving corporations more tax cuts.
The federal government released its national poverty reduction strategy “Opportunities for All” last month. The plan has implications for the soon-to be released Manitoba poverty reduction plan. The federal and provincial governments must take serious action to bring down poverty rates in Canada. Incremental change will make little difference in the lives of those struggling in poverty.
A decade after the worst financial crash since the Great Depression, a fragile recovery is obscuring threats—some new, some as old as capitalism—to Canadian workers and the broader economy. In this first part of a two-part feature on the fallout of that crisis, the Monitor looks at the financial flows, government revenue shortfalls and austerity plans that undermine our ability to handle another sudden shock. Here's a sample of what you'll find inside this issue:
Illustration by Katie Raso Ten years from the onset of the Great Financial Crisis, and eight after the “turn to austerity,” provides a useful vantage point. From here we can clearly see how austerity quickly succeeded the panic-driven experimentation with economic stimulus of the 2008-09 period.
Illustration by Katie Raso
Starting in 2004, almost all provinces and territories, several regions and municipalities, and the federal government have released poverty reduction strategies or discussion papers. Initially, the willingness of governments to develop plans focused on poverty reduction was met with enthusiasm from communities and advocates who had long demanded them. As time passed, it became clear that having these plans was not enough to drive the expected actions and investments.
There has been plenty of concern in Canada and around the world about income inequality, in particular the growing gap between the incomes of society’s highest-paid 10% or 1% and those of the bottom 90% of income earners. We spend less time thinking about inequality in relative wealth or net worth — the sum of all individual or family assets (house, car, investments, etc.) minus all debts (mortgage, student loan, etc.).
OTTAWA—Canada’s wealthiest family dynasties are more than 4,400 times richer than the average Canadian family and much more likely to keep that money in the family than they were two decades ago, finds a new study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).