British Columbia’s labour minister has appointed an economist to lead a commission to advise the government on boosting the province’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Prof. Marjorie Griffin Cohen of Simon Fraser University will chair the Fair Wages Commission, which also includes Ken Peacock, vice-president at the Business Council of British Columbia, and Ivan Limpright, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

The commission is expected to deliver a report with a timeline to raise the minimum wage within 90 days of its first meeting.

Vernon bylaw officers are dealing with increasing hostility from residents living in a homeless camp at the linear park along 25th Avenue.

In a report that will be presented to council Tuesday, Geoff Gaucher, manager of protective services, said bylaw staff are encountering hostile residents and open drug use.

Staff report members of the public are bringing food during the day, which is increasing the numbers gathering there.

Over the span of the past 30 years, Toronto’s “street nurse” Cathy Crowe has both worked on the front lines in helping the homeless get the care they need and served as a tireless advocate for homeless issues in the city and beyond.

While that is where she made her biggest mark, she fell into homeless advocacy almost by accident.

While working in low-income communities in South Riverdale and the downtown core, she came face-to-face with poverty at a time when she was becoming more politically active.

Wearing a soft red fleece jacket and tiny gold hoop earrings, Alexi Rainier doesn’t look out of place walking through the Whole Foods in West Vancouver.

“Most of them, I don’t think, have a clue [about my situation] … It would be deadly embarrassing.”

The truth is Rainier is 79 and lives in a van, parked just outside in the parking lot.

StatsCan says even more London-area residents stayed on the sidelines of the job market in September.

And for those who are working, about half are stuck in “precarious” jobs with no security and/or benefits, says a new academic study.

The London-St. Thomas unemployment rate rose to 5.5 per cent in September, up from 5.4 per cent in August.

But the number of people in the labour force dropped by 3,000,

Compared to a year ago, the number of people working or looking for work has dropped by 9,300 to 254,600.

Stack them up. Take them down. Move them around. Repeat.

What could easily pass as a description of the children’s toy Lego could also be a portrait of British Columbia’s latest tool in the fight against homelessness.

The province is turning to modular housing to help with a critical lack of short-term accommodation. Temporary modular housing involves the construction of small, self-contained living quarters, which can be shipped directly from a factory and quickly assembled.

Four years ago I wrote an opinion piece arguing capitalism had the capacity and time to civilize itself. It survived the Great Depression because it has the inherent ability to reform itself — in its own self-interest.

Now, I’m not so sure.

I thought the captains of capital had a vested interest in ensuring the workforce had the means to buy their products and services. As Henry Ford famously said, “The owners, the employees and the buying public are all one in the same.”