Rising Cost of Living

“Saskatoon has become less affordable than Calgary and Edmonton” (National Post, Jan 26/11).
“House prices across the board have gone through the roof. Rents are skyrocketing” (Prairie Dog, Dec 31/10).
The lowest cost utility bundle guarantee was scrapped by the Sask
Party and utility rates have leaped as a result. SaskPower rates alone have increased an average of 13% for urban residents and 17% for rural
residents.
The NDP’s tuition freeze was also scrapped by the Sask Party and tuition has increased on average by 11%.
Peter Gilmer of the Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry had this to say
about the failure of the Sask Party to address these concerns: “I really
think it’s quite unbelievable that at a time of an economic boom and
massive resource wealth that there’s really so little in this budget for
low-income people, to improve the pocketbook of low-income people. This
is really a very limited response to the housing crisis in the province
right now … You have to have a significant income to make ends meet
… We need to improve people’s incomes. We also have to make sure that
their cost for basic needs like housing are affordable and this budget,
quite frankly, doesn’t do that.”
Notably, the Sask Party’s most recent budget devoted $5 million to
private beer retailers – three times the amount of new money devoted to
address the housing crisis.

Low income seniors deserve a break

Published on October 17, 2011

Editor:

Now that the election has been called I am wondering if the following situation could be addressed – more help for largely forgotten members of society, the low income senior.

I’d suggest the following be looked at:

– rent reduced in apartments for low income seniors, 25 per cent (including utilities, except telephone);

– a ‘break’ on medical and dental, including glasses and prescription drugs;

– a ‘break’ for low-income seniors in their own homes, lower taxes and utilities.

Lynn C. Hudson – Swift Current

Read it online: Low income seniors deserve a break

Read it as a PDF: Low income seniors deserve a break

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Stretched food banks a measure of Canada’s frail recovery: Increased usage reflects a country where many middle-skilled, middle-income jobs have been eliminated

November 1, 2011

By TAVIA GRANT

From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail

Increased usage reflects a country where many middle-skilled, middle-income jobs have been eliminated

The number of Canadians using food banks has declined slightly, but persistent demand indicates many are struggling in a frail economic recovery.

More than 851,000 individuals visited a food bank in March alone, a number that’s little changed from last year’s record and still 26 per cent above prerecession levels, Food Banks Canada’s annual survey, to be released Tuesday, shows. (more…)

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Housing shortage prominent issue

By Will Chabun, The Leader-Post October 27, 2011

The issue of housing has been – hands down – the primary concern facing his agency for the last two years and whomever wins the provincial election must tackle it, says Shawn Fraser, executive director of Carmichael Outreach.

The goal of a new government should be to somehow increase apartment vacancy rates, Fraser said.

“If the market is left to fix it, it’s just going to get worse before it gets better,” Fraser said. (more…)

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Workers can expect minimal raises, study says

By Kim Covert, Financial Post; Postmedia News August 19, 2011

Salary increases in 2012 will range from two per cent to 3.5 per cent, about the same as in 2011, according to Morneau Shepell’s 29th Annual Compensation and Trends Projections Survey.

Companies’ optimism about their prospects for growth and profitability in 2012 isn’t translating into significant wage gains for their employees, according to the findings of a survey of 250 Canadian companies who suggest the projected increase in their salary budgets for next year is less than the inflation rate. (more…)

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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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A tough time to find shelter

The Leader-Post October 13, 2011

New home construction in Regina is booming at a level not seen in 40 years, but it’s likely of little comfort to those at the bottom of the housing ladder.

Even if there is a “trickle-down effect” of some renters buying their own homes and freeing up apartments, many on minimum wage or social assistance simply can’t afford shelter in a city where average rents are around $750 for a one-bedroom apartment. (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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Work-life squeeze political issue

By Fleur MacQueen Smith, The StarPhoenix October 29, 2011

Macqueen Smith is with the Healthy Children research team at the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit.

The team collaborated with researchers at the University of British Columbia to release the report card, Does Canada Work for All Generations. Visit www.kidskan.ca/newdeal for the Saskatchewan-specific report. (more…)

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New index pinpoints inequalities in Canadians’ quality of life

Canada’s economy has boomed for much of the past two decades, yet that expansion has not sparked equally robust improvements in Canadians’ quality of life.

That is the key finding of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, a composite guide launching Thursday that claims to be one of the first of its kind in the world. It seeks to provide a fuller picture of the country’s economic health than the widely used gross domestic product. (more…)

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