basic needs

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Every year around this time there’s a flurry of studies, reports and media stories about the state of poverty in Canada, especially child poverty. We are told that as many as one-seventh of Canada's kids live in poverty. And the accompanying descriptions of the predicament of those children paint a picture of hunger and of serious deprivation.


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Terrace city council recently shelved a proposal to implement a living wage policy. Terrace taxpayers should hope it stays shelved.


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Surrey MLA Jagrup Brar's attempt to spend January living on the $610 welfare rate for a single employable individual has succeeded in getting people talking about the adequacy of welfare. Brar's actions are in response to a challenge issued by Raise the Rates, a coalition of community groups that wants to double welfare benefits. But despite all the publicity Brar has received, the reality is that for most recipients, welfare is adequate and raising benefits would only create further welfare dependency.


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Children poverty is a vital issue for Canada. There are Canadian children that go without basic needs. If we as a society are going to help those most in need we must have an accurate depiction of the true depth of the problem. That is where Campaign 2000, a coalition of antipoverty groups, gets it wrong. They estimate child poverty using flawed measures which hinder us from determining those who are most in need and therefore how best to help them.