B.C. is imposing salary increases for lower-paid workers in various sectors that have not been covered by the regular minimum wage requirement.

Reaction is mixed as some complain it doesn’t go far enough and others argue it goes too far.

New higher wage levels — some to be phased in — apply to liquor servers, piece-rate farm workers, resident caretakers in apartments, live-in camp leaders and live-in home-support workers.

“This is excellent news,” Mike Eso, Victoria Labour Council president, said Thursday, adding it’s something that the organization has been advocating for.

A ten-year plan on ending youth homelessness in the Annapolis Valley has received $50,000 in local funding to help make that happen.

The Rotary Clubs of Kings County Foundation announced funding April 18 in Port Williams for the Homeless No More project, headed by Portal director Russ Sanche.

And with data showing up to 70 youths are homeless on any given night in Kings County, Mud Creek rotary club president Tom Herman said funding the project was “a no-brainer.”

I’m not going to mince words: food insecurity in Canada is at a crisis level. How else to describe the four million of our fellow citizens who are unsure when they’ll eat next, or who are missing meals so their kids can eat? That’s thirteen per cent of our population. And if you’re black, this number soars to 29%. If you’re a lone female parent, it’s 33%. If you happen to be Inuit living in Nunavut, it’s 55%. Across the country, 1 in 6 kids live in a food insecure household. No matter how you slice it, in an abundant country like ours, this is a disaster of massive proportions.

Ontario’s Progressive Conservative leader acknowledged Thursday that his company would benefit, although “probably very little,” from his proposal to cut corporate taxes, but said he would not personally stand to gain anything.

Doug Ford, a businessman and former Toronto city councillor whose family owns and operates Deco Labels and Tags, has promised to cut the provincial corporate tax by one percentage point if the Tories are elected to power this spring.

But Ford stressed it would bring him no advantage because he plans to put the company — which he co-owns with his brother — in a blind trust, a step meant to avoid conflicts of interests when business leaders are elected to office.

Although homelessness may not be as visible in our area as it is in Toronto, it still very much exists. Now, that’s hardly a revelation — politicians and non-profit organizations have said as much for years — but the fact remains that options aren’t exactly plentiful for those seeking a shelter bed north of Steeles Avenue.

Public awareness of the issue typically peaks in the winter months, when the temperature dips below freezing, and tends to ebb as the weather gets warmer. However, while spring’s arrival may reduce the hazard posed by the elements, being without a home is still a huge challenge.

In a bid to raise money to build housing for the homeless, a Barrie, Ont. organization is hoping that people are willing to open their ears.

Redwood Park Communities, a charity that provides affordable housing through partnerships with local agencies, are launching a new podcast called ‘Stories without a Home’ on Thursday.

In an excerpt taken from the first episode, a woman who struggles with homelessness tearfully describes a painful part of her past.

“I was a missing person for 9 months,” she tells the interviewer. “I was trafficked for all that time.”

Redwood’s fundraising campaign aims to raise $3 million to build a new family housing and support centre for families in crisis.

Ontario’s income security system is failing to meet the needs of many Ontarians with low incomes, contributing to increased poverty and lost opportunities. The incoming government faces decisions on the recommendations made by expert working groups in the Income Security Roadmap.[1]

This briefing note outlines the core challenges with the current system that merit attention from the incoming government and highlights near-term and longer-term responses.

– The need for reform

– The current system is designed around policing people’s lives instead of improving them

– By a range of measures, current levels of assistance provided to people in poverty in Ontario fall well short of adequacy.

– The design of the income security system is not sensitive to significant differences in the cost of living throughout the province.