EI was totally inadequate in responding to the 2008-09 recession: at the recession’s peak, only half of all unemployed Canadians were receiving benefits. Since then, the rate of EI coverage has declined again to the abysmal levels experienced through much of the last decade. Today, only 42% of unemployed Canadians are eligible for benefits. Instead of addressing the systemic failure of the EI system to respond to those in need, recent proposed changes to the system will curtail access further. Read more about Income Security System Failing Working Age Adults
Income Supports Programs
What does public policy in Canada look like when we prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in society—children, low-income individuals, and seniors? Some of the nation’s brightest public policy thinkers gathered to respond to this question at the recent Dignity for All Campaign Policy Summit in Ottawa. Read more about Promoting Income Security Across the Life Cycle
By now most Canadians have heard about the changes to seniors’ benefits announced by the federal government in Budget 2012. Beginning in 2023, the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) top-up will be increased from 65 to 67. As a result, seniors will have to work longer, draw from whatever savings they might have, hope for family support, or rely on provincial social assistance programs to get by.
Of course, these changes won’t be a problem for middle and upper-income seniors, those fortunate enough to have good pensions and healthy saving accounts. It will hurt the low-income Canadians who need income supports the most. Read more about Changes to OAS will hurt low-income seniors
Canada's Employment Insurance system is failing a majority of workers. Reforms to make the system more accessible are needed, but should take part within a larger conversation about how to structure Canada’s income support programs in a coordinated, comprehensive way. Read more about A case for Employment Insurance reform
October 17th marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Here in Canada, countless reports, resolutions and commitments have been made over the years about ending poverty, yet the problem persists. What sort of action is needed? Perhaps it's time to re-think our approach... Read more about Investing in (ending) poverty
This web feature is Part III in a series examining CPJ’s recommendations for the 2012 federal budget. Many Canadian prisoners have struggled with low literacy and low educational attainment related to impoverished childhoods. The vast majority of prisoners lived in poverty as adults, with many suffering from chronic unemployment. Read more about Investing in people, not prisons
To achieve a sustainable economic recovery in Canada, all Canadians need an affordable place to call home. Canada’s serious housing problem is cause to reconsider priorities for the next federal budget. Included in this budget are plans to cut corporate taxes. CPJ’s recommendation: hold the corporate tax cuts and direct funds toward affordable housing. Read more about Affordable Housing: a Key to Sustainable Recovery
Two different organizations have recently released helpful reports on economic equality and well-being that cast a somewhat dispiriting picture of the state of prevailing economic philosophies. On Tuesday, the Conference Board of Canada, a business-funded think tank, released its second report of the summer on income inequality, detailing how inequality has risen faster in Canada than in the United States.
The Conference Board report also notes that since the mid-1990s, Canada has had the fourth largest increase in inequality among its peer countries. Read more about Inequality: Solving for the pattern
The recession of 2008-2009 hit fast and furiously, with a steep decline in Gross Domestic Product and employment. Since then, both indicators have recovered well, leading some to trumpet Canada’s quick recovery from the recession. But other indicators, such as social assistance caseloads, have not seen the same strong recovery. And still other indicators, while on their way back to pre-recession levels, still reveal worrisome trends. Read more about Still Waiting for Recovery