We, the undersigned economists, support the decision to increase the minimum wage in Ontario to $15 an hour. Raising the wage floor makes good economic sense.

Today, Ontario’s minimum wage is $11.40 per hour. Adjusted for inflation, this is barely one dollar higher than its value in 1977. Yet over the same four decades, the average productivity of workers has increased by 40%. And the prevalence of minimum wage work is spreading. Around 1 in 10 Ontario workers make minimum wage today, with a large increase in this proportion over the last two decades.

The living wage in Brandon increased by more than a dollar and went up nearly 50 cents in Winnipeg, putting more pressure on low-income families to make ends meet, according to an independent research group’s latest report.

The figures from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives show the living wage for a two-parent, two-child family in Winnipeg went up to $14.54/hr in 2016-17, up from $14.07 a year ago. The living wage in Brandon spiked to $14.55 from $13.41 in 2015-16 and Thompson saw an increase to $15.28 from $13.46.

It’s 2017 and Canadians are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the British North America Act. The official government of Canada website encourages Canadians to “celebrate all that makes us who we are as a country.” As a white settler enjoying life on stolen lands and broken promises, I am unable to join in this celebration.

I don’t remember learning much about First Nations, Inuit or Metis peoples at school. I know for a fact that I learned absolutely nothing about treaties, the Indian Act or residential schools. In fact, it was as an adult that I realized at least four children I went to school with and called friends were First Nations children who had been taken from their families of origin as part of the Sixties Scoop.

Indigenous nations were of benefit to explorers and settlers until their usefulness was dwarfed by valuable resources the land and waterways held. Once the scales tipped in favour of commodities, Indigenous lives became expendable.

In what has been an increasingly popular topic of discussion, MP Adam Vaughan, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development, along with MP Mike Bossio, for Hastings, Lennox and Addington, and MP Neil Ellis, for the Bay of Quinte answered the public’s questions.

More than 70 people joined the roundtable discussion which was held at the Gerry Masterson Community Centre in Corbyville for two hours Thursday afternoon.

Vaughan opened the discussion with a summary of the initiatives currently taking place and his thoughts on rural poverty and affordable housing.

Calgary is the least-affordable city in Canada — if you’re poor.

That’s according to a new analysis that looked at decades’ worth of data on rental costs and social-assistance rates.

Average housing costs may be higher in Vancouver and Toronto, but it’s actually harder for single parents living on a low income to afford a low-end apartment in Calgary, said economist Ron Kneebone, who produced the analysis.

The city should put its money into curbing homelessness in 2018, citizens told councillors at a budget meeting on Wednesday night.

At a special meeting at City Hall, citizens told councillors what they think should be in the municipal budget for next year.

Although a range of spending priorities were discussed, six of the 11 presenters asked councillors to focus on ending homelessness.

Rev. Christian Harvey, the director of the Warming Room, asked councillors to consider funding the winter-only emergency shelter year-round.

First Nations leaders say Justin Trudeau is wrong when he says native communities do not yet know how they would spend additional funds for child welfare and health services.

When asked this week to explain why the Liberals, who came to power promising a new relationship with Canada’s Indigenous people, are not providing First Nations with the cash that would pay for the same level of social services available off-reserve, Mr. Trudeau said native communities are still building their social-service capacity and trying to decide what the money should buy – and that will take time.