Inequality and poverty

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Several small non-profit organizations (NPOs) are nervously awaiting Manitoba’s 2017 budget. Funding sources they’ve come to rely on have been ‘on pause’ for months and its beginning to affect the services they provide.  Many organizations have been unable to confirm that multi-year agreements signed through the government’s Non-Profit Organization (NPO) Strategy will remain in place—they are told they must wait until the budget is released.
In this issue: BC’s new (affordable?) housing policies A bleak jobs picture outside BC’s big cities The great log export drain The biggest source of waste in Canadian health care? The private, for-profit sector. BC’s Jobs Plan doesn’t equal a comprehensive poverty reduction plan Joining our CCPA–BC community
This winter, a 53 year-old woman died overnight in minus 32-degree temperatures, frozen to death on the streets of downtown Winnipeg. This tragic and preventable loss serves as a reminder of how Winnipeg is failing to support people who need it the most and that the homelessness crisis affects women. A new study released today renews calls to action to deal with this tremendously unjust situation.
This winter, a 53 year-old woman died overnight in minus 32-degree temperatures, frozen to death on the streets of downtown Winnipeg. This tragic and preventable loss serves as a reminder of how Winnipeg is failing to support people who need it the most and that the homelessness crisis affects women. This study renews calls to action to deal with this tremendously unjust situation—so that we need not have even another year of women’s homelessness in Winnipeg and Manitoba.
As the BC government prepares to table its budget on February 21 and political parties try to convince British Columbians to vote for them in May, they all need to focus on poverty – specifically, how to reduce it throughout the province.  At 13.2 per cent, BC’s poverty rate is the second highest in the country. Yet we are the only province in Canada without a poverty reduction plan. 
In the Fall 2016 Monitor, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives  (CCPA)Saskatchewan’s Simon Enoch penned Getting to Know Brad, introducing Canada’s most popular premier – Brad Wall - to the country. He ran down Wall’s list of “accomplishments”. What made Simon’s analysis so interesting (and at the same time, disheartening) was how Wall has rolled out such a regressive agenda while remaining so popular.  He noted that the rest of Canada needed to pay attention to Wall as he was beta-testing a number of conservative policy experiments that we could see replicated elsewhere.
Last Monday the Manitoba Minister responsible for the status of women, Rochelle Squires declared the third week in January “gender equality week”. However the new provincial government needs to carefully consider what steps are needed to achieve true equality for Manitoba women.  The answer lies in starting with equity, targeted investments and supporting strong public services.
BC is Canada’s only province without a poverty reduction plan. This report examines the most recent statistics on poverty and its associated hardships in BC, and demonstrates that strong policies are urgently needed to dramatically reduce and ultimately eliminate poverty in our province. A comprehensive and ambitious poverty reduction plan for BC is long overdue. 
BC’s poverty rate is virtually unchanged from where it was a decade ago – yet the province remains the only one in Canada without a poverty reduction plan. Learn more about the state of poverty in BC and find recommendations at: policyalternatives.ca/overdue   

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