Reducing Poverty and Unemployment

Since 2007, 9,800 more people are unemployed (Statistics Canada, July 2011).
Unfortunately, last year, the Sask Party government cancelled important
job training programs, including the Job Start/Future Skills Program and
the Aboriginal Employment Development Program.
Not surprisingly, with unemployment increasing, Saskatchewan has also seen poverty increase.
In just the last year, food bank usage increased by 20%. Over 22,000
people — more than the entire city of Yorkton — were forced to rely on
food banks in our province last year (NewsTalk 980). As well,
Saskatchewan ranked second nationwide in the number of children using a
food bank (The StarPhoenix).
As well, over the last year, the number of people relying on social assistance has increased by 27%.

Job prospects down, but posting numbers high

The Leader-Post October 29, 2011

Job prospects are down in Saskatoon and Regina, which is in line with the national trend, according to the latest metro helpwanted index released Friday by the Conference Board of Canada.

Despite the declining number of job postings, the job market in both cities is still very tight, with close to one online job opening for every applicant, the Ottawa-based organization said. In fact, Saskatoon and Regina have relatively high numbers of job postings compared with the number of unemployed persons looking for work. (more…)

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Wall St. protests

By Bill (ross) Stefanuk, The StarPhoenix October 28, 2011

Martin Luther King Jr. noted: “On some positions, cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expedience asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ ”

We have to make a choice. Serve humanity or serve history. By serving history we surrender all our power and moral authority to the government and its attendant anxieties, the corporate creeds.

You do what you must, not because it is true but because it is right. We have little choice in how we die, but we have a choice in how we live. It’s not what you do with life that matters, but what you do with what life throws your way is what counts.

Share your interest in humanity long after you die.

Bill (Ross) Stefanuk
Saskatoon

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/Wall+protests/5620321/story.html#ixzz1cT5KZ9me

Read it as a PDF: Wall St. protests

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Some Canadians left behind: Romanow

By Jeremy Warren, The StarPhoenix October 27, 2011

Former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow says not enough Canadians are enjoying the benefits of a growing economy.

Romanow, in the inaugural Bryan Woods Memorial Lecture Wednesday night, gave a brief overview of the newly-released Canadian Index of Wellbeing, a project that measures the quality of life using 64 indicators using indicators from social, health, environmental and economic categories. Romanow chairs the project’s advisory board. (more…)

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The rich get richer…

This Letter to the editor also ran in the Southwest Booster under the title: Income inequality highlights growing workers rights issue

Thursday, 27 October 2011 14:18

Editor:
An interesting message from Statistics Canada: income inequality in Canada has increased over the past 20 years.

The richest group of Canadians (Top 20 per cent) increased its share of the total national income, while the poorest and middle income earners lost share.

The increase in inequality can be attributed to institutional forces such as declines in unionization, stagnating minimum wage rates and national policies which favour the wealthy. (more…)

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Less well-off hurting

By Philip Sparks, The Leader-Post October 24, 2011

It is election time and here come the magnificent promises from the parties.

Why does it take an election for the party in power to make all these expensive promises? Why can’t they do some of this stuff during their term in office? (more…)

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Don’t blame poor

By Simon Enoch, The StarPhoenix October 25, 2011

Bronwyn Eyre’s Oct. 19 column laments the simplistic arguments that abound in discussions of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Unfortunately, Eyre marshals perhaps the most discredited and simplistic argument on the financial crisis with her suggestion that Jimmy Carter “got the whole sub-prime mortgage mess rolling in the first place.” It’s an obvious allusion to Carter’s 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which required certain banks to lend in lowincome neighbourhoods.

This is a favourite conservative talking point that attempts to blame the poor as the cause of the housing crisis. This has been proven to be a categorical falsehood. More than 80 per cent of sub-prime loans were made by banks that were not subject to the CRA.

Moreover, CRA loans have a higher degree of supervision and lower rates than other sub-prime loans, and were not subject to securitization to the same extent.

Even Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, has stated unequivocally that the CRA had no discernible impact on the housing crisis.

Blaming the poor for the reckless lending practices of the major investment banks is perhaps the most simplistic argument of all.

Simon Enoch

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/blame+poor/5600738/story.html#ixzz1buXr1mmR

Read it as a PDF: Don’t blame poor

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Number of EI recipients rises in August

Ottawa— The Canadian Press

The number of people receiving regular Employment Insurance benefits increased by 6.6 per cent to 568,600 in August.

Statistics Canada reports the number of beneficiaries rose in every province, with the largest percentage increases occurring in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. (more…)

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Letter to the Editor: Welcome support

By Nathan Holowaty, The StarPhoenix October 20, 2011

Since the Occupy Wall Street protests started more than a month ago, it has been encouraging to see how Canada and the rest of the world has embraced this movement in a show of solidarity with the American protesters.

Many Canadians who have family members in the U.S. such as myself, (my mother is an American citizen) have much sympathy for the plight of the so-called 99 per cent who have been victimized by a greedy, unregulated and unaccountable financial sector. (more…)

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Rent plan needed

By Sheila Glennie, The StarPhoenix October 17, 2011

One reason I am a New Democrat is because I believe housing is a basic community need and there should be a plan.

As a student, my son was paying his half-share of $650 per month rent in Saskatoon in 2006. By 2009 he was paying half of $1,350 for a similar two-bedroom suite in the same neighbourhood.

This September he took a job in Ontario and is paying only $790 a month for 800 square feet in a house that has two bedrooms, a patio in front and a sunroom in back. The same month his brother in Regina rented a 900-squarefoot wartime house for $1,750 a month. (more…)

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No Vacancy: Homeless in Regina

Affordable housing hard to get

By Peter Mills, The Leader-Post October 8, 2011

It took a lot of tears and even more courage, but Darlene Shepherd was candid about being homeless in Regina.

“It’s not just about being homeless. There is mental and physical damage to us,” Shepherd said, crying. “I talk to people who try to help and it just seems like it’s just talk.” (more…)

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