Fight food insecurity with income

By Molly McCracken

The rise in food costs disproportionately affects the poor as food makes up a larger portion of their spending. Increased income, educational programs and northern food subsidies need to work hand in hand if the food security crisis in Manitoba is to be overcome. Continue reading

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Filed under Aboriginal issues, Child Welfare, economic well-being, EIA, food security, inequality, Living Wage, Manitoba, poverty, Uncategorized, Wages

The Next Step: Literacy Programming in Manitoba

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 3.43.28 PMCanadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Manitoba new publication release:

Low levels of adult literacy in Manitoba are a barrier to full participation in our society. Easily accessible supports, located in low-income communities are needed to address this challenge, a new study finds.

In 2013 one in six Manitobans had literacy levels so low that they could not participate fully in life. Literacy costs our society. Low literacy rates impact people’s ability to access health care. People with low literacy are more likely to be on social assistance or incarcerated. Women with low literacy who are primary care givers of children, struggle to read to their children, making it difficult to break intergenerational cycle of poverty. Aboriginal people are more likely to leave school before grade twelve and require literacy supports as adults. Refugees may arrive from countries where basic education was not possible, requiring access to literacy programming.

The Next Step: Literacy Programming in Manitoba, by Jim Silver finds that the national policy framework established to support adult literacy was dismantled in the mid 2000s, cutting core funding to national literacy organizations and redirecting money to training and job readiness. But if people do not have basic literacy skills, they cannot participate in job training programs. Literacy for family, social or political participation is no longer the focus. Continue reading

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Filed under Aboriginal issues, education, inequality, Inner City, Literacy, Manitoba, news release, racism

Investing in Social Enterprise to reduce poverty and green house gases

By Lynne Fernandez
A new Errol Black Chair paper explains how a combination of governmental policies and initiatives in Manitoba allows social enterprises to reduce Manitoba’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while training and employing Inner City workers. The provincial government and Manitoba Hydro are supporting social enterprises so they can work in two emerging ‘green’ sectors: building retrofits and alternative energy installations. Continue reading

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Filed under Aboriginal issues, CCPA-MB, CCPA-MB Reports, climate change, economic well-being, economy, Employment, environment, inequality, Labour, Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, poverty, racism, social enterprise, Wages

No Jesuit School in Winnipeg’s North End: Stop them before they do it again

The Catholic Church ran more than half of Canada’s residential schools. In these schools they immersed Indigenous children and youth in Catholic culture. The effect on these children and youth and their families has been so great that on the first page of its Final Report the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has said that what the residential schools did “can best be described as cultural genocide.” The TRC has called upon the Pope to apologize “for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children in Catholic-run residential schools.”

Now this same Church wants to establish yet another Catholic school in a largely Indigenous community — Winnipeg’s North End. gonzagaThe principal and executive director of the proposed Gonzaga Middle School acknowledges that the culture of the school will be Catholic, and goes so far as to say that the school “will immerse students in Catholic culture.” The principal will personally interview potential students and their families, hand-picking the 60 students he considers to be the most suitable candidates. They will then spend their middle school years being immersed in Catholic culture, and when they are finished middle school they will be steered into one of Winnipeg’s private Catholic high schools, where their tuition will be paid for. Continue reading

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Filed under Aboriginal issues, activism, Child Welfare, colonialism, education, Manitoba, racism, Winnipeg, youth

Mothering Project: Effective prevention with vulnerable families

By Carole O’Brien

 “The root causes of neglect—including poverty, poor housing, food insecurity, and substance abuse—lie beyond the scope of the child welfare system to resolve. But a collaborative approach, working with parents and harnessing the collective resources of child welfare and other provincial government departments, other levels of government, and the province’s many community-based organizations, can make a difference for vulnerable families.”  Honourable Ted Hughes, 2014)

These words from the findings of the Inquiry into the tragic death of Phoenix Sinclair stressed again the need to create comprehensive, preventive measures that support vulnerable families.

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Filed under Aboriginal issues, Child Welfare, health, healthcare, inequality, Inner City, poverty, racism, safety, social exclusion, violence, Winnipeg, women

Lived Experience and Perspectives: Women, mental health and housing in Winnipeg

By Jen Erdmann

Supportive Housing is an important model on the housing continuum and a positive choice for many people living with mental illness. Whether it is because a person faces greater challenges or because they do not wish to live alone, supportive housing, commonly referred to as “group homes”, holds the potential of being a place where residents may develop a greater sense of personal community, as well as providing the additional safety and support that comes with round the clock staff.

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Filed under health, housing, inequality, Mental Health, racism, safety, social exclusion, Winnipeg, women

Gains are Being Made: The State of the Inner City Report 2015

By Jim Silver

First published in the Winnipeg Free Press Dec 10, 2015

CCPA-MB-Inner-City-Poverty-InfographicIt has recently been claimed in the media that nothing is working in the fight against poverty.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ State of the Inner City Report 2015: Drawing on Our Strengths, shows that this is not the case. Important poverty-related indicators are improving. After decades of decline, public investment in community-led initiatives is making a difference. Continue reading

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Filed under Aboriginal issues, CCPA-MB Reports, economic well-being, economy, education, housing, inequality, Inner City, newcomers, poverty, safety, social exclusion, women, youth