Coalition launches campaign to reduce Sask. poverty

By Jason Warick, The StarPhoenix

Poverty doesn't just hurt those who experience it. Poverty places a huge burden on the province's health care, education and justice systems.

Reducing poverty could save Saskatchewan taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars per year and give a multi billion dollar boost to the economy.

That's the main message from a coalition of Saskatchewan community groups launching their "Cost of Poverty" campaign today.

"We want this province to be a prosperous place for everyone," said Alison Robertson, director of community development for the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre.

Continue reading at www.thestarphoenix.com.

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No room for shaming in public health system

In a recent article, Nova Scotia’s Health Minister, Leo Glavine, floated the idea that people should have to demonstrate healthy lifestyles before accessing our health care system, much like a bank assesses a customer for a loan.

Sadly, this is not a new idea but has been floated by others pundits and politicos over the years, often couched in the language of practicality and common sense. Healthcare is a privilege to be earned, not a right, they lobby.

Healthcare just for the healthy, in other words. Here’s why such an idea would fail — for all of us.

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Alternative Federal Budget 2014: Striking a Better Balance

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The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives presents an alternative federal budget, one that "shows what the federal government could do if it decided to seriously address Canadians’ largest social, economic, and environmental concerns." 

What do you think we should be focusing on? 

Read the CCPA's Alternative Budget report.

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Why racism is a public health issue

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Ranking among the social determinants of health are issues of equality and diversity. Your experience of inequality, because of things like gender, race, and sexual orientation, can have a serious impact on your health outcomes. 

This article, set in an American context, argues that racism is at the core of health disparities in African American populations. How do you think this relate to health inequity here in Canada?

Read "Why racism is a public health issue" at ThinkProgress.

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Better daycare for $7/day: One province's solution for Canada

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Via The Globe and Mail.

"Quebec’s program is about more than just affordable daily care. It is a wildly ambitious experiment in society-building – a controversial $2.2-billion bet that better daycare can not only transform child development but also vastly improve the prospects of women and the poor, and build a better labour force."

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Child care: Why Canada needs to do better at helping all families

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Via The Globe and Mail.

As economists, historians and child-development experts have convincingly argued, a family policy that includes affordable, accessible child care is not only a crucial ingredient for a healthy economy in an aging nation banking on the talents – and taxes – of the next generation. It makes society more equal by supporting poor families."

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What the world can teach Canada about building better daycare

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Via The Globe and Mail.

"If Canada really wants to help its families juggle work and kids – and rescue them from a child-care system defined by wait lists, poor quality and fees as high as mortgage payments – the country can borrow from the best, Sweden, where daycare is part of a full childhood, not just somewhere to park the kids when heading to work."

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How Income Inequality Hurts Every Canadian's Change of Building a Better Life

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Via The Globe and Mail.

Canada is at a crossroads. A gap has grown between the middle class and the wealthy. Now, that divide is threatening to erode a cherished Canadian value: equality of opportunity for all. This article is part of The Globe's Wealth Paradox series, a two-week examination into how the wealth divide is shaping Canada's cities, schools, social programs – and even its national sport.

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It is expensive to be poor

Fantastic ‪#‎longread‬ from Barbara Ehrenreich, writing in The Atlantic:

"It’s time to revive the notion of a collective national responsibility to the poorest among us, who are disproportionately women and especially women of color. Until that happens, we need to wake up to the fact that the underpaid women who clean our homes and offices, prepare and serve our meals, and care for our elderly—earning wages that do not provide enough to live on—are the true philanthropists of our society."

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Growing demand on need to tackle income inequality

So, what’s a fair wage ratio between the highest paid employee and the lowest?

A disturbing but fleeting fact graced the news of the day on January second this year. As of 1:11 PM on January 2nd, top CEO compensation had exceeded what the average Canadian worker would earn all year. That average Canadian earned just under $47,000 in 2012. It took the top 100 CEOs of Canada just over a day and a half to earn the same amount.

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