Legal aid clinics, anti-poverty advocates and municipalities are declaring victory in the wake of the Ford government’s decision to roll back a provincial welfare cut to some of the province’s most vulnerable children.

The province is also reversing harmful changes to people on welfare with part-time jobs.

As the Star reported Thursday, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services informed municipalities late Wednesday that the province had scrapped its plan to eliminate the $67 million Transition Child Benefit on Nov. 1.

The impending closure of a Hamilton food bank may leave clients struggling to access the food they need, say those who work with people struggling with food insecurity.

In a news release, St. Matthew’s House executive director Renée Wetselaar said the Barton Street East food bank will close Nov. 1 to make room for a beefed up older adults’ resource and food security centre currently run out of the Eva Rothwell Centre on Wentworth Street North. The board saw a rising need in adults 55 and older for access to food and support services. They say the Barton Street building is better located for those in need.

But with 50 to 75 people visiting the St. Matthew’s House food bank daily, Carol Cowan-Morneau, executive director of Mission Services of Hamilton, worries other resource-strapped food banks like theirs may not be able to absorb those additional clients.

“To remove one food bank that serves 1,500 families in one month, you can imagine that that puts pressure on all the other food banks,” she said.

Denmark’s new Social Democratic government said on Wednesday it would pour more money into healthcare, education and the welfare system, following through on its campaign pledge to reverse years of cuts by previous administrations.

The government said it had room to manoeuvre on spending because Denmark’s public finances were in good shape after years of austerity and that it would also raise taxes on businesses to help pay for the policy shift.

Many Danes, who pay some of the highest taxes in the world to fund their welfare system, are concerned that further spending cuts would erode the country’s long-cherished universal healthcare, education and services for the elderly.

A group of San Francisco neighbours said they had to do something to make their street safe. Their answer? Some giant rocks.

Fed up with what they see as the city’s failure to combat homelessness and rampant drug use, the neighbours had boulders delivered to their sidewalk to block people from pitching tents on their street.

That started a fight that shows the frustration with an unprecedented homelessness crisis in California. Cities are struggling to address the lack of affordable housing and a growing number of homeless encampments that are popping up on city streets, sometimes in neighbourhoods.

“This report confirms that the Ford government’s ‘cut-first, think-later’ approach is not only bad for people, but it is also fiscally irresponsible.

By poking holes in the social safety net, the government is downloading costs onto the healthcare and justice systems, while depriving the province of billions in economic activity.

Short-sighted decisions like capping the minimum wage and slashing social spending by $1 billion drive people into poverty and cost the province as a whole.

Stripping away investments in people means more individuals and families going to food banks, homeless shelters and emergency rooms rather than contributing to the economy.

In the wake of this report, I am renewing my call for a universal basic income, which brings people into the economic fold instead of leaving them out in the cold.

Jerrold Paetkau is right when calling attention to Parksville city council’s abandoning the cold-weather shelter at Orca Place. However, it is more than neglect. It is a violation of international human rights law. This is not mere rhetoric. In 1976 Canada ratified the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights including the right to food, clothing and shelter and an adequate standard of living for all.

By so acting, our governments – federal, provincial and municipal — became the ‘primary duty bearer’ for ensuring we all have roofs over our heads including those sleeping rough.

Today, our governments are constitutionally responsible for ‘respecting, protecting and fulfilling’ the right to housing. Of course the private sector, civil society and community groups have critical roles to play. However no level of government should be downloading their responsibilities to hard pressed and underfunded churches to act alone in caring for the homeless.

Poverty costs the Ontario government — and ultimately all of us — as much as $33 billion a year, according to a new report by Ontario food banks.

This is not only socially irresponsible, but economically unsound, argues the analysis being released Tuesday by Feed Ontario, formerly known as the Ontario Association of Food Banks.

“The report shows us that maintaining people in poverty is expensive — and that proven poverty reduction investments not only benefit our communities, but carry significant cost savings and revenue opportunities for the provincial government as well,” says board chair Michael Maidment.

The report, which links poverty to lost productivity and increased provincial spending on health care and criminal justice, says the Ford government’s focus on deficit reduction through decreased spending on social programs may be counter-productive.