The national statistics office is looking at changes to the federally adopted poverty line which, if approved, could increase the number of Canadians regarded as living below the low-income threshold.

The last time the made-in-Canada measure was updated was in 2008; poverty rates increased by 2.2 per cent because the financial cut-off used to define low-income was raised.

Experts suggest that a plan by Statistics Canada to recalculate the threshold by changing the “market basket measure” early next year could lead to a similar bump in poverty rates.

The case began in Boise, Idaho, in 2009, when six homeless people sued the city for prosecuting them. They argued that the city’s laws violated their constitutional rights. The case later reached the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California. In 2018, the 9th Circuit Court ruled that the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which bars cruel and unusual punishment, prohibits punishing homeless people if there are more of them than there are available shelter beds.

The appeals court said: “As long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.” The city of Boise then appealed this ruling to the United States Supreme Court on December 6, 2019.

With no dissenting opinions, the U.S. Supreme Court on December 16 struck a blow to cities that would refuse homeless people basic civil and human rights. Refusing to hear Boise’s appeal, the Supreme Court let stand the 9th Circuit’s ruling that the homeless have the constitutional right to live on city streets and in public parks if a city does not provide enough shelter beds for them.

The federal government’s claims its “middle-class tax cut” will lift 40,000 Canadians out of poverty strike oddly against calculations the cut will save lower-income Canadians between $37 and $137 per year.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Monday, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos praised Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s plan to extend the Basic Personal Amount (BPA) exemption from $12,000 to $15,000, this coming January.

Calculations by University of British Columbia economics professor Kevin Milligan note families with incomes up to $20,000 only save $37 per year with the cut, while families earning $20,000-40,000 save only $137 per year.

What happens to one of the world’s poorest places if you randomly pick more than 10,000 poor families out of an eligible pool and give them $1,000 each, no strings attached?

Dozens of studies have already shown conclusively that just handing very poor people a considerable sum of cash can transform their lives in lasting ways. That is hardly surprising. But this study set out to ask a different question: What about their neighbors?

There is someone waiting on a list for affordable housing in more than 283,000 households across the country, Statistics Canada says in a new batch of data that also sheds light on what Canadians think about the cost of housing overall.

The survey data, the first of its kind on wait times for social housing, shows 173,600 households, or nearly two-thirds, were waiting at least two years.

The payments that Nunavut welfare recipients receive each year are dramatically lower than what their counterparts in Yukon and the Northwest Territories receive, a new report shows.

And if you subtract the value of social housing benefits, Nunavut’s annual welfare income in 2018 was close to that paid to welfare recipients living in southern Canada.

The report, titled Welfare in Canada, was issued by a national non-profit anti-poverty organization called Maytree.

For 2018, an unemployed couple with two children living in Iqaluit could expect to receive a total welfare income in 2018 of only $29,561, the Maytree report found.

That’s a little less than in Ontario, where a couple in the same situation would get $30,998 in 2018, or Manitoba, where the figure was $29,918.

Use of food banks in Canada has stabilized but a new report shows that single people – and especially seniors – are more likely to be using the facilities.

As more Canadians struggle with their finances, Food Banks Canada says that food bank use among single people has hit a record high with single person households accounting for 48% of users.

By analyzing data from 4,934 food banks across Canada, the organization has discovered that this percentage is up from 38% in 2010, while single parent usage has fallen in that time from 27.5% to 18%.