Last week federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu suggested people should prepare as they would for a natural emergency such as a severe snowstorm — by setting aside a week’s supply of food, medicine and other household supplies.

But with Toronto recording a seven-per-cent increase in food bank usage between 2018 and 2019, there are concerns that many people are simply not able to make that kind of preparation.

“Having a week’s worth of food stockpiled, having a month’s worth of food stockpiled is not an option for individuals who are making use of food banks,” Neil Hetherington, the CEO of the Daily Bread Food Bank, told CBC News.

Cutting essential services harms those who need them most

Premier Jason Kenney talks an awful lot about how Alberta is struggling, but rarely do we hear him or his ministers talk about the individual Albertans who are struggling and, even if we did, we’d have to take the concern with a grain of salt considering they are implementing austerity policies that are going to make things a whole lot worse for a whole lot of people.

Austerity is when governments attempt to reduce their budget deficits by reducing spending on public services. The problem with austerity is that it has never worked to jumpstart any economy and, in fact, has proven repeatedly to have the opposite effect. Worse, imposing austerity at the wrong time can increase unemployment and trigger a recession.

A plan to charge people who are staying at the House of Nazareth emergency shelter in Moncton up to $300 a month is being met with anger.

Executive director Jean Dubé said charging people has always been part of the plan, and the decision was made in an effort to “keep the doors open and to provide the services these people need.”

Dubé sais people who aren’t receiving social assistance, which is $537 monthly for a single person, won’t have to pay.

“We want to be able to provide the appropriate services which is, you know, housing, food, laundry, clothing, showers and everything else, there’s a cost to that,” he said.

Vancouver’s city council has voted in favour of declaring a homelessness emergency in the city.

The decision was made Wednesday, after two hours of debate and discussion involving members of the public. The motion was initially brought forward by Coun. Jean Swanson and Coun. Pete Fry and passed unanimously after some amendments.

According to Swanson and Fry’s motion, at least 2,223 people were counted as homeless across Vancouver in 2019 and 7,655 across the province.

Street kids are not just rebels without a cause—and they want (and need) your help.

Youth homelessness is a huge problem in Canada

Each year, more than 35,000 Canadians aged 16 to 25 experience homelessness. And this number doesn’t reflect the “hidden homeless”—people who are couch-surfing and not accessing services and therefore harder to measure. Even though people of this age group make up just 13 percent of the general population, they account for roughly 20 percent of the population staying in shelters. The ratio is even higher in some cities, like in Kingston, Ont., where one-third of shelter users are young people. Within this youth homeless population, various marginalized groups are overrepresented as well: 25 to 40 percent identify as LGBTQ+ (compared with 5 to 10 percent in the general population) and 10 to 30 percent are Indigenous (versus 5 percent in the total Canadian population).

Nanaimo Regional District directors are set to vote today on a controversial proposal that would set rules about when and where homeless people can camp overnight in some — but not all — parks.

Opponents of the idea have launched a petition on Change.org that had more than 3,200 signatures by midday Monday. They warn that allowing camping would cause housing prices to plummet and parks to fill up with garbage, tarps, needles and tents.

Statistics Canada said that about 3.2 million Canadians, or 8.7 per cent of the population lived below Canada’s poverty line in 2018, according to data they released today.

The number has decreased from where it was in 2017 which was 9.5 per cent.

Statistics Canada also said that 566,000 children under the age of 18 lived under the poverty line in 2018, at a poverty rate for of 8.2 per cent. It was not a significant change from 2017, however Statistics Canada said that they continue to see a downward trend from year to year, since the number peaked at 15 per cent in 2012.