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.

Indigenous people are spending fewer nights in homeless shelters than non-Indigenous users, a finding from federal researchers who warn in internal documents that the result points to more problematic – or even insidious – issues in the country’s housing system.

The study found that no matter the community, Indigenous people were over-represented in emergency shelters, making up about 30 per cent of users despite only being about five per cent of the national population.

They stayed more often, but for fewer nights – almost five fewer nights per year, on average – which federal researchers say isn’t “necessarily a positive outcome.”

Seventy-two Indigenous children connected to child welfare died in northern Ontario, where three Indigenous agencies covering most of the territory were underfunded approximately $400 million over a five-year period.

The number of deaths jumps to 102 Indigenous children when looking at the entire province between 2013 to 2017.

And almost half of the deaths, 48 involving Indigenous agencies, happened in the two years it took Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to respond to multiple orders made by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that first found Canada guilty of purposely underfunding on-reserve child welfare in its historic decision on Jan. 26, 2016.

So why are people still not getting housed? Is it a failure of people experiencing homelessness? Is it a failure of housing programs? Or is something else going on?

Bruce Wallace, Bernie Pauly, Kathleen Perkin, and Geoff Cross of the Canadian Institute of Substance Use Research in Victoria, BC in reviewing a modestly sized transitional housing program have stumbled upon answers to these much broader questions.

Their data points to three strong conclusions:

1. Failure to obtain housing is not the fault of individual program participants.

2. Failure to obtain housing is not the fault of the program.

3. Failure to obtain housing is due to system-level forces that create and sustain poverty and inequities.

Christopher Paul hasn’t felt a police officer tapping at his foot in more than a month — the tap, tap, tap that usually meant he was about to get another citation that he was never going to pay.

Living on the streets for five years after he lost his graphic design job, Paul has been having undisturbed nights since the Austin City Council and mayor eased restrictions on “public camping” this summer, a move that liberal lawmakers billed as a humane and pragmatic reform of the criminal justice system. But the change has drawn the ire of Republicans and local business owners who decry it as a threat to public safety and the local economy, exposing a partisan clash over how to manage poverty and affordable housing in America’s cities.

Two St. John’s women are organizing seniors to fight poverty among their ranks.

The two Marys — Mary Martin and Mary Moylan — are launching the Support Our Seniors on (SOS) Thursday.

Both live in the same building and said Martin, they both are divorced and raised children and don’t have a public sector pension.

About a year ago, they met through a mutual friend and began comparing circumstances over coffee.

“We’re in our 70s and still struggling to make ends meet,” Martin said.

They started looking at stats and discovered across Canada there’s a common problem of single senior women living below the poverty line.

In January 1998, I was glued to the television, watching the gruelling ice storm in Quebec and Eastern Ontario. I seriously contemplated going to help; the emergency shelter conditions and health needs I saw on the TV news coverage were so dire that they reflected what I was doing in Toronto. As soon as I made the decision to go, I was hit with a wave of emotion — my gut told me something was seriously wrong. I realized that to go was to deny that homeless people here, in Toronto, were also living in a disaster. A disaster that had no natural cause. I was overcome with grief and nausea as I realized that all the signs of an acute disaster (like the ice storm farther east) were present; a rapid rise in people de-housed, worsening health, increased infections, suffering and exhaustion.

But for homeless people, the power and heat were not going to suddenly turn back on. Conditions were not going to inevitably improve, freeing them to return home. Their emergency shelter stay was not short-term. There would be no compensation plan to reimburse them for their loss, no emergency re-housing plan either.