It is past time for the government to give serious consideration to instituting a living wage.

The so-called free market economic system certainly hasn’t gotten us there, with its nonsense about trickle down wealth and such. In a country like Canada, which we like to think of as one of the most advanced and caring in the world, it is simply not good enough that we still have so many people, including thousands and thousands of children, living in poverty.

The refrain on the other side of the argument is inevitably that those people are just lazy. That silly notion might comfort the well-to-do when they wake up in the dark of the night secure in their life of privilege, but it certainly isn’t true.

Kanosha Derry says she just wants her kids to be able to sleep through the night without worrying about mice running across their beds.

Derry and her four children, including Deh’ziah who has Spina bifida and needs a wheelchair, have lived in a Halifax apartment on Charles Street for the past two years – but recent rent hikes have her worried she won’t be able to stay much longer, and with a lack of affordable four or five bedroom units in the area she says she’s left with nowhere to turn.

“They’re building so many condos and townhouses, they’re not building anything that’s affordable anywhere else …

You have all heard me talk on this subject, but a picture says 1,000 words. This is not the first time this has happened to this unfortunate person who is my friend. The costs are astronomical.

This photo was posted on Peterborough Streetvoice. I am willing to have a meeting about this woman to come up with solutions before we have another “Dorothy Groves” situation.

Think about the cost of homelessness. A friend who needs help because of addiction issues. She has asked for help, but no one else helps.

She has been a guest of an emergency cold weather shelter but is denied at the women’s shelter because of mental health and addiction issues.

Kim Cruea can’t seem to catch a break lately, and it has left her family homeless.

The Barrie resident and her six-member family are currently in Salvation Army transitional housing after their landlord was approached by a realtor who offered to renovate and sell their rental home. They took a buyout to vacate the property in 30 days, not realizing how competitive and expensive the local market is.

“My husband and I have lower credit scores and don’t meet the criteria for the overly high-priced homes in Barrie,” she said. “(We) don’t gamble, drink, do drugs or smoke. But we’re barely surviving.”

I met John Grezenda earlier this week when he came through the doors of the Citizen looking for help.

Grezenda is 81, disabled and has been living on the streets of Duncan for more than a month.

I could tell instantly that he was a proud man, but his life had spiralled out of control in recent years, leaving him in dire straits.

Apparently, he had a home, a wife and the other attributes that many consider necessary for contentment in life.

But his beloved wife died and then his home burned down, along with all of his belongings.

The only thing he has these days is his old age pension, but it’s not nearly enough to cover all his expenses, including a high rental rate.

After four decades of fighting against the establishment, it felt strange, Jean Swanson said, to be celebrated by it.

Swanson, a longtime Vancouver anti-poverty activist who is running for city council, was invested into the Order of Canada Friday by Gov. Gen. David Johnston during a ceremony in Ottawa. Her appointment as a member of the Order of Canada was announced last year.

Reached by phone Friday shortly after the ceremony at Rideau Hall, the Governor General’s official residence, Swanson said the “pomp and ceremony” of the occasion felt unfamiliar to someone who’s spent so much of her life in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

With some 1,000 Toronto Community Housing (TCH) units at risk of being shuttered by the end of next year, officials say the province’s new investment in the city’s social housing infrastructure allows them to create an “active plan” to prevent those closures.

But at least one housing activist is criticizing the move, saying it’s not enough to keep TCH units from closing.

Alejandra Ruiz Vargas, a TCH resident who is a member of the anti-poverty group ACORN, says it’s not enough to meet the demands of the 10-year, $1.5 billion repair plan and to keep hundreds of damaged TCH buildings from being shuttered.