During a news conference on Thursday with fellow Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn, Hoggarth told the crowd that employers who say they would go out of business because of the minimum wage hike should reassess whether they should be in business at all.

“If you’re going out of business on the backs of your employees because you can’t afford to pay them this, then perhaps you should reassess your business plan and reassess whether you should be an employer at all,” she said at the new conference.

Quebecers who have a severely limited capacity to work will gradually be able to access a guaranteed minimum income beginning next year, Premier Philippe Couillard’s government announced Sunday.

The measure is part of a $3-billion action plan to fight poverty and promote “economic inclusion,” but falls short of offering a basic income for all Quebecers, a demand of many anti-poverty groups.

An estimated 84,000 Quebecers would qualify for the minimum income measure, largely those with physical and intellectual disabilities.

The Homelessness Network of Sudbury has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert for the next twenty-four hours.

This Alert will put into action a short-term emergency plan to increase community services when the temperature drops below -15 degrees Celsius or when Environment Canada issues a storm watch or weather warning.

Environment Canada has forecast a low of -17 C tonight, but the windchill will make it feel more like -21 C.

I read with great sadness the two letters in the Nov. 15 paper blaming homeless people for their predicament and I read with relief the one letter by M.J. Buffle suggesting a constructive and compassionate although stopgap solution.

Huge social issues underlie the growing problem of homelessness: systemic manipulation of the housing market;, shortage of decent wage paying job opportunities; failures in the education system; historical neglect of those with mental health problems; predatory debt traps for those . who are struggling to stay afloat ; an economic system which rewards the rich who avoid taxes and blames the poor for “not paying their share”..

There is plenty of information about these issues if one chooses to educate oneself.

The Quebec government unveiled a $3 billion anti-poverty plan on Sunday, drawing criticism from advocacy groups who said it targets too narrow a group of people to truly make a dent.

Government officials said their aim is to raise 100,000 Quebecers out of poverty by 2023. Referring to the plan as “first steps towards establishing a basic income,” the government announced measures that it said would help people who have been unable to obtain employment do so.

Ontarians don’t think too highly of people on social assistance, according to a new survey about discrimination from the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Just 39 per cent of respondents had at least “somewhat positive” feelings toward people receiving social assistance, the lowest percentage of any group, although transgender people, refugees, Muslims and Arab people did not fare much better.

“There’s a very unique form of discrimination that people on social assistance and people who are homeless experience. That was a very important insight for us,” Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane said on Friday

Cities struggling to house their homeless are asking the federal government to rethink its cornerstone homelessness program amid concerns about burdensome reporting requirements and inadequate funding.

An internal government report calls for the so-called Homelessness Partnering Strategy to provide different levels of funding to rural communities, which must house people over vast areas, and to urban centres struggling with skyrocketing real estate prices.