British Columbia’s government has pledged $6 million to help reduce homelessness in the province.

Minister for Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson said the money will be distributed over the next three years through the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia. One-time grants will be available to frontline organizations addressing the homeless crises.

“We know that this work is going on today in communities around the province,” said Simpson. “We know that there are many communities that have homelessness task forces and homelessness action committees, and this work is to support what they’re doing.”

Recently-announced Rent Assist cuts are just the latest example of Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister’s moves to attack supports for low income residents ⁠— despite promising, while campaigning, to treat poverty as a key issue for the province.

According to a provincial break-down by Citizens for Public Justice, Manitoba has the highest poverty rate in Canada, with one-in-five currently living below the poverty line. That translates to 25% of children living in poverty and it’s forced 115,000 Manitobans to rely on the province’s Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) programs.

During the 2016 leadership debate, Pallister called poverty “the number one issue” in his province. But, as premier, many of his cuts, sell offs and policy moves have been bad news for minimum wage workers and support recipients.

A new study says the official inflation rate is underplaying the financial stress being felt by families with children.

Statistics Canada’s consumer price index is a carefully built gauge of the changing cost of a broad mix of goods and services for the whole population. It’s natural for individuals to feel their own cost of living isn’t fully reflected by the CPI, which has been tame for the better part of a decade.

Do CPI skeptics have a case? A University of New Brunswick study suggests that households with children experienced persistently higher living costs than those reported in the CPI since 2009. Zeroing in on Ontario, the study found an inflation rate of nearly 10 per cent for households with children between 2010 and 2015, compared to an official CPI of just below 2 per cent.

Including:
Cut $1 billion from social services across the board
Scrapped Basic Income Pilot Project
Cancelled $1 increase minimum wage
Cut Workplace Safety Insurance Board payments to injured workers by 30 per cent
Killed Bill C-148, which provided part-time workers the same pay as full-time workers, guaranteed 10 days off (2 days paid) and more
Removed rent control for new units
Severed library services funding in half
Ended the Roundtable on Violence Against Women
Slashed $84.5 million funding for children and at-risk youth, including children’s aid societies
Cut $15 million from the Ontario Trillium Foundation

A cross-party group of MPs, flanked by organizations that help veterans in need, made a plea on the eve of the 75th anniversary of D-Day for the government to end veteran homelessness and create a special housing stipend as a key first step.

The motion from Ontario Liberal MP Neil Ellis asks his own government to create a subsidy similar to one in the United States that’s credited with helping to cut in half the number of homeless American veterans and could get thousands of veterans off Canadian streets.

Veterans Affairs Canada recommended something similar in early drafts of its strategy for helping homeless vets, noting that a rent-assistance program would help veterans quickly find permanent housing wherever they live.

Some do not believe there are people in Orillia who are homeless, living, essentially, on our streets and tucked away on the fringes of our trails and neighbourhoods.

Those, locally, who help the homeless and support their needs know otherwise.

But there’s only one way to quantify the issue and to develop statistics about the actual number of people living without a roof over their heads – walk among them and count them.

A coalition of 19 groups is banding together to pressure Nova Scotia’s Liberal government to replace what they call “trickle down economics” with measures to reduce rising poverty.

The Nova Scotia Action Coalition for Community Well-Being announced its creation Monday during a news conference at the provincial legislature hosted by the NDP.

Member groups include the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers; the Women’s Centre Connect, which includes nine women’s centres across the province; and the Community Advocate Network, a lobby group formed by citizens living in poverty.