The minimum wage is being raised another pittance on P.E.I. and there is again discussion about how adequate this will be in addressing the poverty prevalent on P.E.I.

It isn’t adequate, and the NDP along with social justice groups have for several years called for an increase to $15 an hour here and across the country. Along with this increase, of course, would have to be measures to help small businesses absorb the cost.

It isn’t just low wages that keep people poor, in bad health and in mental anguish, it is the mean-spirited charity model used for providing social assistance and other “help” to low-income Islanders.

Dalhousie University’s recent Canada’s Food Price Report indicates food prices are expected to rise between three and five per cent in 2017, with B.C. likely to experience above-average increases.

Families are expected to pay as much as $420 more on food, an amount that has risen in recent years and is above what the report calls “acceptable” food inflation.

While the report highlights cauliflower becoming a luxury item in 2016, it also notes the steep increase in food bank usage across the country.

“Over 300,000 children and 550,000 adults were helped by food banks in all 10 provinces, with eight provinces showing increases in visits from the previous year, mostly in Alberta and Nova Scotia,” the report states.