Toronto’s ombudsman says the city provided “outdated, inaccurate and inconsistent” information during this winter’s shelter crisis.

Susan Opler’s new report says, in at least two instances, that city officials provided incorrect information about the capacity at the Better Living Centre — an emergency respite centre opened to homeless people amid a period of extreme cold weather that started in late December.

“It is only reasonable to infer that they gave out this sort of misinformation in more instances than just the ones we investigated,” Opler said in a news release.

Canadian women who worry about making ends meet are less likely to continue to breastfeed their baby compared with other women, say researchers who are calling for more supports for vulnerable families.

Of more than 10,000 women who were surveyed over nine years, almost everyone started breastfeeding, the study’s authors reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

But by the two-month mark, more than half of those who said they had trouble affording enough nutritious food stopped breastfeeding, whereas half of other women exclusively breastfed to at least four months.

Researchers say that’s important because public health authorities such as the the World Health Organization recommend that infants breastfeed exclusively for six months “to achieve optimal growth, development and health.”

University students are hungry for more than knowledge.

Food insecurity among post-secondary students is a “deepening problem,” Lakehead University assistant professor Barbara Parker told an audience Tuesday during a Research and Innovation Week presentation at the Orillia campus.

A 2016 study by Meal Exchange, the results of which were published in Maclean’s magazine, surveyed more than 4,000 students in Canada. Lakehead shared the unfortunate first place with Dalhousie University for having the highest rate of students experiencing food insecurity: 46 per cent. What further set Lakehead apart was 14.7 per cent of those surveyed were “severely food insecure,” while that figure for Dalhousie was 9.1 per cent

Too few jobs, inadequate income assistance programs, major health challenges and a lack of subsidized child care all pose barriers to employment for persons experiencing homelessness. Fortunately, programs in Calgary offered by Mustard Seed, the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre, and Calgary John Howard Society help many persons experiencing homelessness to overcome some of these barriers. For a “big picture” advocacy ask at the federal level that could address all of these issues, check out this year’s Alternative Federal Budget; and for a similar “big picture” ask at the provincial level, check out this year’s Alberta Alternative Budget (coming soon!).

A new protocol is in place to assist Winnipeg’s homeless population and safely transport them to a shelter when in need.

The ‘voluntary transport to drop-in shelters protocol’ allows Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service paramedics or firefighter-paramedics to transport the patient to a drop-in shelter instead of a hospital if their assessment warrants it.

The change also frees up emergency responders to better utilize their time to focus on life-saving situations.

Lindsay’s Aaron Hughes was on Ontario Works until he joined the Basic Income Pilot Project and he says he is already noticing an improvement in his health.

The Basic Income Pilot Project began in October for Lindsay as part of Ontario’s experiment with a basic income, a monthly, no-strings-attached payment of up to $1,400 for people living in poverty. Those with disabilities receive an additional $500 a month.

The project is also geared towards people on other programs such as Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

There are still spots available for the project. … Enrollment for the Basic Income Pilot Project will end on April 16, 2018.

Our B.C. government is about to finish province-wide poverty reduction consultations. At a recent consultation meeting in Richmond, I heard from the coordinators that implementing an income guarantee has so far been the number one poverty reduction recommendation made by the public at the consultations. Despite this, the recent provincial budget committed only $4 million to “model” such a program, most likely a top-up to our abysmal welfare rates and low-wages. A “top-up” will provide only minimal relief to those in poverty and be a boon to low-wage employers who can continue to keep wages low. The group I belong to, Livable Income Vancouver, believes that instead we need implementation of a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI), an income guarantee that is universal, unconditional, individual, and set at rate that meets the cost of living. Livable Income Vancouver is calling on both our provincial and federal governments to implement a GLI that will promote the greatest autonomy, security, wellbeing and equality for all in B.C.