Category: Poverty

  • Homelessness Doesn’t End in April

    Toronto City Council Must Start Building Shelters Now Homeless people in Toronto are in crisis. In the first nine months of 2017, the city has recorded an average of 8 homeless deaths every month. Most of those who died were under the age of 50. Emergency shelters, whether they serve women, men, youth, refugees, or families, … Keep reading »

  • The Neoliberal Danger of Basic Income

    The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) has drawn up the following statement on basic income (BI). It makes the case that, progressive hopes to the contrary notwithstanding, BI is being developed as a measure of neoliberal attack that should be opposed. We invite progressive organizations and individuals who hold positions in agencies and academic institutions, … Keep reading »

  • Intentional Neglect or Callous Oversight?

    How ‘Progressive’ Basic Income Proposals Fail Migrants In the debate around the pros and cons of basic income, the implications for immigrants are seldom discussed. This omission, whether intentional or a product of indifference, is particularly glaring in progressive pro-Basic Income (BI) literature where the term “citizen’s income” is often used synonymously. Taken together, a … Keep reading »

  • The Neoliberal Writing on the Wall: Ontario’s Basic Income Experiment

    Since 2010, the UK has endured a political regime that can be considered a cutting edge of the austerity agenda. Through the film, I, Daniel Blake, people around the world have become familiar with the institutionalized cruelty of the Country’s warped system of providing social benefits to those in need. To those who endure sub-poverty … Keep reading »

  • $15 and Fairness Shakes Up Ontario

    The Fight for $15 and Fairness scored a big victory on May 30 when the Ontario Liberals announced they would raise the minimum wage to $15 by January 1, 2019. The Liberals also announced a slew of other legislative changes they will introduce as part of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, such as two … Keep reading »

  • Basic Income and the Left: The Political and Economic Problems

    Should the Left and labour support a demand for a Basic Income (BI)? This simple question has provoked a fervent and confusing debate. The discussion over BI touches on real political and economic anxieties. The attack on the social welfare state, the depreciating power of organized labour and an economy producing increasingly low-wage precarious jobs … Keep reading »

  • What Basic Income Means for Disabled People

    Disabled people in Ontario are much more likely to experience poverty than non-disabled people. Many have to live on sub-poverty payments under the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or the even more wretched income provided by Ontario Works (OW). Those that are in this situation are confronted by an ongoing process of surveillance, invasion of … Keep reading »

  • Toronto Mayor’s Housing Policies Costs Lives

    E ighty people have died in the last two years as a direct result of homelessness in Toronto. That’s one homeless person dying every 10 days. In 1985, people fighting homelessness started keeping track of these senseless, and entirely preventable deaths. Since that time, they’ve recorded over 800 deaths – lives sacrificed in service of … Keep reading »

  • Basic Income: Progressive Dreams Meet Neoliberal Realities

    Up until now, the concept of Basic Income (BI) has enjoyed a greater history of being proposed than of being implemented. We may well b approaching a period, however, when this changes. The Ontario Government is holding consultations on setting up a BI pilot project. The Legislature in another Canadian Province, Prince Edward Island, has … Keep reading »

  • Ontario’s Austerity Government Sets Basic Income Trap

    The Ontario Government’s Adviser on Basic Income (BI), Hugh Segal, has released his much heralded discussion paper, “Finding a Better Way,” that sets out his proposals for a lengthy BI pilot project. If the experiment he advocates is put into effect, it will run parallel to the deliberations of a Security Reform Working Group that … Keep reading »

  • Disabled People Give Lead In Fight Against UK Austerity

    I recently had the enormous honour of representing the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) at a week of action and international conference, organized from September 4-10 by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) in the UK. This was another step in building a close working relationship between our two organizations. It was also fascinating and inspiring … Keep reading »

  • Implementing Austerity By Downloading Responsibility

    Ontario’s Attack On Social Assistance Laura Bardeau had bedbugs and lost all of her furniture. A single mother with two children, trying to survive on social assistance, she applied for emergency housing support from the City of Toronto’s Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF). In doing so Laura was one of over 30,000 people annually who try to … Keep reading »