Category: Poverty

  • Struggles in the Shadow of the Pandemic

    It is a principle of historical materialism that social consciousness reflects social being and it is, therefore, inevitable that the former will tend to lag behind the latter. At a time like the present, human societies are being buffeted by rapid and deeply disturbing changes and the thinking of hundreds of millions of people is … Keep reading »

  • The Pandemic Kills the Poor: Inequality Will Kill Them Even More

    In just over four months, COVID-19 has become the fastest-growing known global health crisis to date. Various systemic biological, political and public health factors have converged to make this happen: the contagiousness and the high mortality rate of the virus, the neoliberal weakening of national and global public health systems, the globalization of air-transport tourism, … Keep reading »

  • Capitalism, Socialism, and Existential Despair

    Decades ago, Edward Said remarked that contemporary life is characterized by a “generalized condition of homelessness.” Decades earlier, Martin Heidegger had written that “Homelessness is coming to be the destiny of the world.” Around the same time, fascists were invoking the themes of blood and soil, nation, race, community, as intoxicating antidotes to the mass … Keep reading »

  • Disabled People Under Attack

    In December, Ontario’s Auditor-General, Bonnie Lysyk, issued a report that offers the province’s right wing Tory government an opportunity to attack disabled people living in poverty. Her report paints a picture of an Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) that is handing out money hand over fist to the questionably disabled, without any realistic checks and … Keep reading »

  • If Housing is a Right We Should Take It

    In Toronto and across Canada, homelessness has reached proportions that no rational and just society would tolerate and it constitutes an emergency situation. The Trump Administration, seeing levels of destitution in California that are producing social dislocation, is preparing for a brutal crackdown on the homeless. We would do well to understand how close we … Keep reading »

  • Holding Pens for the Homeless

    Homelessness is spinning out of control in many places, not least right here in Toronto. However, in California, the situation is now generating an acute political crisis. So great is the problem of mass destitution in that state that whole urban areas are facing a threat to public health and a level of social dislocation … Keep reading »

  • A Knapsack Full of Dreams /w Cathy Crowe

    Cathy Crowe discusses her book A Knapsack Full of Dreams: Memoirs of a Street Nurse and Canada’s 21st century homelessness crisis. Over the past three decades, a series of federal governments cut funding for social programs and eliminated our national housing program, leaving hundreds of thousands of people victim to the tsunami of homelessness that … Watch video »

  • A Nightmare of Homelessness: A Knapsack Full of Dreams

    Cathy Crowe’s book A Knapsack Full of Dreams: Memoirs of a Street Nurse comes out of decades of witnessing and challenging a growing blight of destitution and poverty in Toronto that has developed with the advance of the neoliberal agenda. In writing this review, I should make clear that I have known Cathy for a … Keep reading »

  • Disablement, Oppression, and Political Economy

    It is often claimed that disabled persons are invisible, disregarded by mainstream society, and irrelevant to the workings of society. This analysis has attempted to explain that the “unemployables” have been deliberately shut out of the labor force due to a capitalist economy that so far has dictated their exclusion by measure of economic calculations … Keep reading »

  • A Tale of Two Austerities

    The UK’s brutal austerity regime is acting as a template for similar programmes across the Atlantic in Canada, reports John Clarke. Keep reading »

  • A Tale of Two Toilets: Profiting from Necessity?

    Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities famously opens with the lines “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” Reflecting extremes in wealth and well-being, a number of current publications mirror Dickens: Andrew Levine’s “A Tale of Two … Keep reading »

  • The Homelessness Crisis Deepens Across North America

    As an organizer with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) in Toronto, I am only too aware of how much worse the homeless crisis has become in this city over the last three years. As a result of community pressure, City Hall issues a daily shelter census. In a whole series of ways, the official … Keep reading »