By Josh Brandon
Manitoba cities inched towards higher density with more apartments and fewer single families homes built in 2013. Growth in multi-unit residential construction should provide some relief on the critically low vacancy rates Manitoba cities have seen in recent years. However, much of the investment is in higher end rental or in condominiums and continues to exclude lower income households. Ongoing support for affordable and social housing will be needed to ensure that units are available to low-income families in Manitoba. Continue reading
By Lynne Fernandez and Molly McCracken
Photo: Youth Researcher, CCPA
By substantially raising EIA shelter rates and increasing child care spaces, new apprenticeship programs and support to social enterprises, the province is taking action to provide marginalized people with the assistance low income people need to overcome barriers to education and employment. Continue reading
By Lynne Fernandez
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Women textile workers on strike in 1912, Lawrence, Mass.
History teaches us the importance of remembering and celebrating International Women’s Day. In the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911, 146 young women suffered horrific deaths at this New York City garment factory. It took a tragedy of this magnitude for authorities to begin to consider safety regulations and fire codes, and to highlight the appalling working conditions of thousands of workers. Shocking as the carnage was, the fire did not convince authorities or employers to deal with all the workplace injustices facing women – who laboured for less pay and were more exploited than men. Continue reading
By Shaun Loney
The so-called war on poverty has been an abysmal failure. Poverty rates in Canada remain at stubbornly high levels. Most provinces, including Manitoba, still have about one in 10 living below acceptable low-income cut-offs.
Low-income Manitobans, like other low-income Canadians, fall back on a myriad of programs supposedly aimed at eliminating, if not reducing the impacts of poverty. A non-exhaustive list includes provincial and on-reserve social assistance, federal and provincial child tax benefit credits and supplements, GST credits, Manitoba 55+, Rent Aid and Old Age Security. Not only is there a lot of money spent on administering these programs, the overall benefit levels are inadequate, especially given the rising cost of housing. Continue reading
By Josh Brandon
Policy research can sometimes be a lonely occupation. It is easy to worry that the only people listening are the ones who already mostly agree with us about our important goals of reducing poverty, promoting a more equal society, while protecting the environment. It is encouraging to know we have 750 members across Manitoba who value the work do, read our reports, blogs and opinion pieces. Our supporters are a big part of what keeps us going. But, are we only preaching to the choir?
This week at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, we have had an especially rewarding week that demonstrated that the work we do is making a solid difference. Continue reading
By Lynne Fernandez
Observers were not expecting anything more than a middle-of-the-road federal budget for 2014, but even so the Finance Minister managed to disappoint. Why then did the government choose to release a ho-hum budget when the country is focused on the Olympic Games? So we wouldn’t notice how re-cycled and contrived it is? Maybe, but it could also be because if one digs a little beyond the official budget story – lackluster as it is, things begin to look a little bleaker than we’re led to believe. Continue reading