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Inequality

A Poverty Reduction Plan for Healthy People and Healthy Communities

BC-PRC Factsheet coverDownload the Fact Sheet and Poster to learn more about the crisis of poverty in BC, the cost of poverty, and the need for a long-term sustainable solution: a poverty reduction plan for BC. Please share the fact sheet widely and put up the poster in your local community. Email Trish for free printed copies to be sent directly to you.

Poverty in BC is a Human Rights Violation

This document, prepared by the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, details instances where International Law supports the case of poverty being a Human Rights violation, and lists multiple interventions by United Nations Rapporteurs who have made strong calls for the Canadian government to live up to its commitments before UN Treaties. Read the full report here.

Haves and Have-Nots: Deep and persistent wealth inequality in Canada

Haves and have-nots report coverThis report by the Broadbent Institute shows that the wealthiest 10 per cent own over half the wealth in B.C. while the bottom 50 per cent have only three per cent of the wealth, with many of the poorest facing huge amounts of debt.

The Case for Increasing the Minimum Wage

This report, published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, is written by Economist David A Green, a professor and former chair of the Vancouver School of Economics at UBC and an International Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, who conducted a thorough review of academic research on the economic impacts of minimum wages, and concludes that bold increases to the minimum wage make good economic sense. The report came out a month after the provincial government announced an increase to BC’s minimum wage of 20 cents more per hour, an announcement that was widely criticized as insufficient and a missed opportunity. You can read the full report here.

Working for a Living Wage 2014 Update

CCPA Cost of poverty report coverThis report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is based on a family of two parents with two children aged four and seven. (In BC, 76 per cent of families with children are headed by couples, and 57 per cent of them have two or more children. And while the poverty rate is particularly high for single parent households, 60 per cent of BC’s poor children live in two-parent families), and finds that the Living Wage for a family in these conditions should be $20.10

The Cost of Poverty in BC

CCPA Cost of poverty report coverThis study by Iglika Ivanova of the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives published in July 2011 details the huge costs of dealing with the negative consequences of poverty in higher healthcare and justice costs, as well as lost productivity. Not doing anything about poverty is costing us all.

BC Jobs Plan Reality Check: The First Two Years

CCPA jobs plan report coverStatistics Canada data reveals that BC’s labour market stalled in 2013, despite the much-hyped BC Jobs Plan launched over two years ago. This report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives looks at how and why the plan is failing, and calls for a more diversified and sustainable approach to job creation.

Burden of Poverty: A snapshot of poverty across Canada

Burden of Poverty: A snapshot of poverty across Canada coverThis report by Citizens for Public Justice highlights that B.C. has the highest local poverty levels in Canada, with Prince Rupert and Richmond facing devastating poverty rates of about 23 per cent.

Precarious: Temporary Agency Work in British Columbia

CCPA precarious work report coverThis report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives examines the rise of temporary agency work in British Columbia, and explores the experiences of temporary agency workers, which include low wages, insufficient hours, unequal treatment and lack of protection under employment standards legislation.

Poverty Reduction Policies and Programs

This set of reports from Canada Without Poverty identifies current provincial and territorial approaches to poverty reduction, alleviation and eradication, profiles the ideas, interests and institutions that have shaped the evolution of that work, and identifies critical issues for each jurisdiction moving forward.

Welfare in Canada 2013

Welfare in Canada 2013 coverThis report by the Caledon Institute, found a single “employable” person on welfare in B.C. receives just under 40 per cent of the poverty line, leaving a poverty gap of almost $12,000. Welfare in B.C. is deeply inadequate at $610 per month for a single person and has been frozen for seven years.

Welfare in Canada 2012

This report focuses on the incomes of four different households living on social assistance, commonly known as “welfare.” It is a continuation of the welfare incomes series published regularly by the former National Council of Welfare, and is published by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy.

Poverty Progress Profiles

Every year, Canada Without Poverty compiles Poverty Progress Profiles of each Province in Canada, which look at the current status of poverty, plan development and implementation or organizational appeals for a plan, and details on specific thematic areas related to poverty (such as housing, welfare, employment support, and early childhood education and care). You can read the reports here.

“Making Ends Meet” Report

2012 People with disabilities report coverThis report was released in December 2013, and is the fourth and final report in Citizens for Public Justice’s Poverty Trends Scorecard series. The report shows that in the face of economic uncertainty and stagnant incomes, Canadians are working hard to keep up with rising living costs.

“All in a Day’s Work? – CEO Pay in Canada” Report

2012 People with disabilities report coverThis report, issued by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, shows how by 1:11pm on January 2, 2014 the first official working day of the year, Canada’s top 100 CEOs have already pocketed $46,634 — what it takes most Canadians an entire year, working full-time, to earn.

The Case for Fair Tax Reform in BC

CCPA Progressive tax options report cover“Tackling inequality means talking taxes.” The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC have collected all of their tax-related publications in one spot here. It’s well worth a look! For instance, did you know that the richest British Columbians now pay less tax as a share of their income than the poorest?

The Time is Now: A Poverty Reduction Plan for BC

This campaign grew out of this comprehensive plan to dramatically reduce poverty and homelessness published in December 2008 by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Read the CCPA’s news release and download a summary of the study.

Poverty Trends Scorecard – Canada 2012

This report from Citizens for Public Justice published on October 17, 2012 shows how although some progress toward ending poverty in Canada has been made, much more work remains for us all to do.

The Equality Project

This set of data and resources from the Broadbent Institute show that the majority of Canadians see income inequality as a “serious problem” and want to take part in government-led solutions to ending it.

The Dollars and Sense of Solving Poverty

The latest report in the growing body of evidence that concludes that we all pay for poverty. And that investing to reduce poverty benefits everyone. Download the report released in Autumn 2011 by the National Council of Welfare.

The Equality Trust

This organization from the UK uses research from Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett to show the negative effects that inequality has on multiple social issues, including life expectancy, child development, math and literacy levels, infant mortality, murder rates, obesity, homophobia, racism, voter turnout, and trust. Check out this accessible summary of Wilkinson and Pickett’s book, The Spirit Level – Why Equality is Better for Everyone, published by The Canadian Unitarians of Social Justice in Autumn 2011.

Mind the Gap: Income Inequality Growing

BC has the highest rate of inequality in Canada, according to this report from BC Stats published in January 2012, which states that BC had the largest income gap of all the provinces between the top 20% and the bottom 20% of earners. The report notes that the lowest group of earners spend half of their money on basic necessities like food, shelter and clothing, while the highest earners spend only 30% of their income on the same items. Access the report and other BC Stats updates here.

Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) 2014 Report Card

Canada’s compliance with this UN treaty was last assessed by the CEDAW Committee in 2008, and the Committee raised significant concerns about Canada’s commitment to women’s equality rights and adherence to the treaty’s protections. The 2014 Report Card is published by West Coast LEAF, grading the BC government on how well it has adhered to the Convention over the past year. View the full report here.

BC’s Growing Gap: Family Income Inequality, 1976-2006

This study from March 2009 reveals that BC’s poor and middle class families are in worse financial shape than their parents’ generation. The study finds that fully 60% of families with children are earning less than their counterparts in the late 1970s, while incomes for the wealthiest 10% have increased dramatically. The result is a widening gap between the rich and the rest of the population. Download the report.

Better is Always Possible: A Federal Plan to Tackle Poverty and Inequality

k. This paper, which expands upon a chapter on poverty and inequality in the upcoming 2016 Alternative Federal Budget, proposes the terms of a comprehensive federal poverty reduction plan. If the government is serious about its campaign pledge to bring real economic opportunities to more people, the practical and affordable policy tools outlined here will take them some way toward that goal. Download the report.

Seniors, Women, Immigrants & First Nations

Shameful Neglect: Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada

Shameful Neglect report coverThis report calculates child poverty rates in Canada, and includes the rates on reserves and in territories—something never before examined. The authors call for immediate action to resolve the ongoing crisis affecting Indigenous people across the country, and recommend a poverty reduction plan for reserves that would: report poverty rates on reserves and in the territories; improve direct income support; improve employment prospects on reserves; and begin to implement longer-term solutions. Read the full report here.

2015 First Nations Child Poverty: A Literature Review and Analysis

A comprehensive literature review and analysis of First Nations Child Poverty  “to determine how existing research on the structural drivers of First Nations child poverty can be effectively translated into pragmatic, community-based solutions.” Download the report here.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in British Columbia

On January 12, 2015, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights released this report, which highlights the grave human rights violations experienced by Indigenous women in Canada.

The Intersection of Poverty and Immigration in BC

This fact sheet from February 2013 by the Association of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies of BC shows that recent immigrants are three times more likely to live in poverty than Canadian-born persons. Actions needed to eliminate poverty for immigrants and refugees include implementing a poverty reduction plan.
http://www.westcoastleaf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/2014-CEDAW-Report-Card.pdf

The Intersection of Poverty and Immigration in BC

This fact sheet from February 2013 by the Association of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies of BC shows that recent immigrants are three times more likely to live in poverty than Canadian-born persons. Actions needed to eliminate poverty for immigrants and refugees include implementing a poverty reduction plan.

Seniors Fact Sheets

These recent fact sheets on health care and housing from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC provide information on improving health care and access to affordable housing for the growing seniors population in BC.

Immigrants and Low-Paid Work: Persistent Problems, Enduring Consequences

This report by Jennifer Jihye Chun and Amanda Cheong from the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia published in December 2011 highlights the fact that immigrants experience chronic low pay and are more likely to be unemployed and live in poverty than non-immigrants.

Canada’s Colour Coded Labour Market: The gap for racialized workers

Despite an increasingly diverse population, this report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Wellesley Institute in March 2011 on Canada’s racialized income gap shows that racialized Canadians are more likely to be unemployed or get stuck in dead-end minimum wage jobs.

Precarious & Vulnerable: Lone Mothers on Income Assistance

A Social Planning and Research Council of BC report, December 2008. This report explores the impact income assistance changes made by the BC government in 2002 have had on lone mothers with young children. Download the report.

Youth & children

Shameful Neglect: Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada

Shameful Neglect report coverThis report calculates child poverty rates in Canada, and includes the rates on reserves and in territories—something never before examined. The authors call for immediate action to resolve the ongoing crisis affecting Indigenous people across the country, and recommend a poverty reduction plan for reserves that would: report poverty rates on reserves and in the territories; improve direct income support; improve employment prospects on reserves; and begin to implement longer-term solutions. Read the full report here.

2015 First Nations Child Poverty: A Literature Review and Analysis

A comprehensive literature review and analysis of First Nations Child Poverty  “to determine how existing research on the structural drivers of First Nations child poverty can be effectively translated into pragmatic, community-based solutions.” Download the report here.

2015 BC Child Poverty Report Card

First Call's 2015 child poverty report coverBC has had one of the highest child poverty rates in Canada, and in 2015, 1 out of 5 BC children are poor representing 167,810 children — enough children to fill the Disneyland theme park 4 times. Download the report released in November 2015 by First Call: Child & Youth Advocacy Coalition, with the collaboration of SPARC BC and Campaign 2000.

2013 The Face of Child Poverty in Richmond Report

Richmond Children First's 2013 report coverThe report, It’s Not Fair! The Face of Child Poverty in Richmond: A Call to Action, was released in November 2013 by Richmond Children First. It aims to de-mystify poverty, put a face on child poverty and serve as a call to action for the Richmond community.

2013 State of the Child Report: Central Okanagan

2013 Okanagan child poverty report coverThe Community Action Toward Children’s Health (CATCH) coalition endeavours to make the Central Okanagan the best possible place to raise young children, and releases this yearly report to raise awareness of the need for action on child poverty in BC. You can read the report here.

$10/day Child Care Plan

CCPA childcare report coverThe Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning responds to the deepening child care crisis facing families in British Columbia. On the basis of extensive community consultation, the Plan was released in April 2011 by the Child Care Advocates of BC and the Early Childhood Educators of BC, and has been endorsed and supported by a growing number of individuals and organizations. Find the Plan here, including Factsheet 4: $10 A Day Child Care: A Key to Ending Family Poverty.

7 Reasons Why the $10/day Child Care Plan Is Good for BC Business

CCCABC' childcare cost benefits factsheet coverThis factsheet, produced by the Coalition of Child Care Advocates and the Early Childhood Educators of BC highlights why their Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning is good for BC business.

Improving First Nations Children’s Health with Social Justice Education for Children Factsheet

CCCABC' childcare cost benefits factsheet coverThis factsheet provides an overview of social justice education, the role of educators and schools in providing a socially conscious education, and examples of social justice initiatives led by children. It was produced by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.

The Rights of First Nations Children in Canada Factsheet

CCCABC' childcare cost benefits factsheet coverThis factsheet highlights how Aboriginal children continue to experience unacceptable and disproportionate levels of risk due to a combination of historical trauma, intergeneration poverty, and discriminatory and underfunded child welfare policies. Also produced by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.

Are We Doing Enough? A status report on Canadian public policy and child and youth health

This 4th edition of this report from the Canadian Paediatric Society released in January 2012 identifies child poverty as a key concern in relation to child health, and concludes that Canada’s provincial and territorial governments could do more to address this issue and promote child and youth health. Access the report and other resources here.

Food

Hunger Count 2014

2014 Hunger count report coverThe latest report from Food Banks Canada detailing the use of food banks in 2014. There were 97,369 people who used the food bank in 2014, an increase of 3,367 from 2013, or 24.7% since 2008.

2012 Household food insecurity in Canada

2012 Household food insecurity in Canada report coverThis report , issued by Research to Identify Policy Options to Reduce Food Insecurity (PROOF), documents that four million Canadians, including 1.15 million children, lived in households that struggled to afford the food they needed in 2012.

The Cost of Eating in BC 2011

2011 Cost of eating report coverDietitians of Canada, BC Region publish this report to bring attention to the fact that many British Columbians don’t have enough money to buy healthy food. And it’s not getting any better. Shelter and food costs have risen significantly over the past decade. However, income assistance rates (commonly called ‘welfare’) have remained virtually unchanged. And even when earning more than the new minimum wage, families have barely anything left for other necessities after paying for both shelter and healthy food. Find out more here.

Health

Health Inequities in British Columbia

2013 Health inequities report coverIn general, people from more advantaged socioeconomic groups enjoy longer life expectancy and better health than people from less advantaged groups. Download the updated report from April 2013 by the Health Officers Council of BC.

On the path to better health

2014 On the path to better health report coverThe BC Healthy Living Alliance issued in March of 2014 this report, which found that British Columbians who live in the province’s poorest communities are more likely to die early from cancer (24%), respiratory diseases (53%), circulatory diseases (65%) and diabetes (91%). Among its many recommendations, the report calls for a Poverty Reduction Plan for BC.

Overdue: The Case for Increasing the Persons with Disabilities Benefit in BC

2012 People with disabilities report coverThis paper was released in July 2012 by the Disability Without Poverty Network and makes a strong case that we need the following changes to ensure people with disabilities are not living in poverty: increase the PWD benefit to $1,200 per month, index the PWD benefit and establish a shelter assistance program for people with disabilities.

Income Support for Persons with Disabilities

This research report by Ronald Kneebone and Oksana Grynishak from The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary in September 2011 compares social assistance programs for people with disabilities (PWD) in BC, Alberta and Ontario, and finds that the PWD rate in BC is below the poverty line whatever measure you use. They recommend raising the PWD rate to match the level of income support provided to poor seniors and linking it to inflation as seniors’ supports are.

Investing in Prevention: Improving Health and Creating Sustainability

From BC’s Provincial Health Officer in September 2010, this report documents health inequities between rich and poor, and recommends a poverty reduction plan for BC.

The Chief Public Health Officer’s Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2009: Growing Up Well-Priorities for a Healthy Future

Children living in families with low socio-economic status are less likely to have their basic needs met (sufficient family income, adequate food and shelter) and are more likely to experience ill health. View the full report here.

Health Inequities in British Columbia

In general, “people from more advantaged socioeconomic groups enjoy longer life expectancy and better health than people from less advantaged groups.” Download this report from November 2008 by the Health Officers Council of BC.

Healthy Futures for BC Families

The BC Healthy Living Alliance presents this discussion from October 2008 of the policy responses necessary to address those social issues that can impede or enhance the health of a society, including access to: affordable housing, early childhood development and care, income and food security, and supportive environments. View report.

Housing

Getting Serious About Affordable Housing: Towards a Plan for Metro Vancouver

Shameful Neglect report coverThe housing market in Metro Vancouver is broken, and we need more rational planning and management in the interests of local people. This paper proposes a bold affordable housing solutions agenda, including an ambitious program of public re-investment in social and co-op housing, putting the brakes on absentee ownership, and progressive property taxation options. Read the full report here.

Still Dying on the Streets: Homeless Deaths in British Columbia, 2006-2014

Dying on the Streets 2 coverThis report by Megaphone Magazine finds that at least 46 people died on the streets in B.C. in 2014–a 70 per cent increase from the year previous. the median age of death for a homeless person in BC is between 40 and 49 years, almost half the life expectancy of 76.4 years for the average British Columbian.

Dying on the Streets: Homeless deaths in British Columbia

Dying on the Streets: Homeless deaths in British Columbia coverThis report by Megaphone Magazine highlights that “the median age of death for a homeless person is between 40 and 49. This is almost half the life expectancy for the average British Columbian, which is 82.65 years.”

BC’s Real Social Housing Numbers

This opinion editorial by Seth Klein, CCPA-BC, published in March 2013 in The Tyee reveals that only 418 new units of social housing have been built per year over the last 8 years. While that is an improvement on the numbers from 2010, it’s a far cry from the 1000-1500 new social housing units that BC used to build every year with joint funding from the feds.

The State of Homelessness in Canada 2013

The State of Homelessness in Canada 2013 coverThis report from the Canadian Homelessness Research Network, shows that Vancouver has one of the highest rates of severe housing need in Canada, and a growing number of homeless people from the latest homelessness count.

2011 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count Report

While the number of homeless people has not increased since 2008, there are some worrying trends revealed in this report from the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness. 1 in 5 homeless are unaccompanied youth under the age of 24, a 5% increase since 2008. The number of homeless families also increased and, shockingly, some include babies below the age of 1. And Aboriginal people make up 2% of the general population of Metro Vancouver but 27% of the homeless population.. Find out more here.

Our Home, Our Future: Projections of Rental Housing Demand and Core Housing Need

BC Non-Profit Housing Association has created the first ever publicly available provincial and regional projections of rental housing demand and core housing need for BC and for 28 regional districts. These reports will assist the non-profit sector, housing planners and policy makers in planning for the future of housing BC. This is a significant milestone as we are seeking to build a non-profit housing strategy for the province so that all British Columbians have access to safe, secure and affordable housing.

Homelessness: Clear Focus Needed

This report from the Auditor General of BC in March 2009 concludes that, despite many good practices, a lead agency and comprehensive plan are needed to reduce homelessness in BC.

Housing and Support for Adults with Severe Addictions and/or Mental Illness in British Columbia

This SFU study from 2008 found there are 11,750 ‘absolutely homeless’ in BC with severe addictions and/or mental illnesses, costing $644 million per year — or $55,000 per person — in health care, correctional, and social services. Download the study here.

Putting an End to Child & Family Homelessness in Canada

This report is the result of Raising the Roof’s Child and Family Homelessness Initiative, a comprehensive, three-year examination of homelessness affecting children and their families across Canada. Download the report here.