For every dollar corporations pay to the Canadian government in income tax, people pay $3.50. The proportion of the public budget funded by personal income taxes has never been greater.

At a time when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made tax fairness a centrepiece of his government, the Toronto Star and Corporate Knights magazine spent six months poring over tax data to determine how much income tax corporations are really paying.

We found the amount of tax most big companies pay has been dropping as a proportion of their profits for years, and not only because the corporate tax rate has been cut repeatedly. Canada’s largest corporations use complex techniques and tax loopholes to reduce their taxes significantly below the official corporate tax rate set by the government.

Our analysis of the financial filings of Canada’s 102 biggest corporations shows these companies have avoided paying $62.9 billion in income taxes over the past six years.

More than 16,000 low-income people in the Halifax region will get free bus passes under a new poverty reduction program.

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said extending transit passes to people on income assistance will help meet a basic transportation need while all three levels of government work together with the community to address broader systemic causes of poverty.

“Public transit performs a vital role in helping residents get to work, appointments, child care, school, along with enabling them just to engage more fully in their own community,” Savage said.

“It’s about mobility, it’s about independence … it’s about a single parent who carries groceries home to save money who can now hop on a bus, even if it’s just a few blocks.”

Nurses helping the homeless where they are is a much needed service when we hear in the media that there are 30,000 homeless in Canada. As a senior who grew up in Toronto I would never have guessed it would come to this – increasing numbers of shelters and food banks across the country with so much suffering and neglect.

This is not included in media when we are welcoming the world to come and give them jobs and financial assistance and housing.

A P.E.I. Opposition bill linking food waste and food insecurity is misguided, says a University of Toronto researcher.

Reducing food waste is a good idea in itself, Valerie Tarasuk told CBC News, but linking it to food insecurity is not.

MLA Steven Myers, who introduced the bill, said by focusing on developing a system for donation, food could get to people who need it instead of being thrown out.

But Tarasuk said a lack of donated food is not the cause of food insecurity.

“When people are struggling to put food on the table for themselves and their families it’s a problem of income. So the solutions to that problem are income-based solutions,” she said.

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.

Dianne Crosby’s degenerative spinal condition forced her to quit her job as a cook at Acadia University seven years ago. She relies on a monthly disability allowance and spends most days … [c]onfined largely to her tiny one-bedroom apartment [where] she’s now awaiting a third surgery. Each day she swallows a concoction of powerful anti-inflammatories and painkillers, including four Percocets a day, to manage the pain. She’s forced to make due with an $846 monthly social assistance allowance, of which $570 goes to rent.

She can’t make ends meet. Crosby’s a regular at the community food bank but by mid-month her cupboards are largely empty. Her doctor has been prescribing her one bottle of Boost — a meal replacement drink — daily in an attempt to improve her health, but the province stopped paying for it two months ago.

She has appealed to her caseworker but has been given no assurance that the province will pay for the added cost, even though the Department of Community Services lists Boost among 17 diet-related expenses it covers. So she goes without.

Poverty hurts not just individuals and families. The scourge of such hardship has a negative impact on communities, regions and entire nations.

According to Canada Without Poverty, a charitable non-profit dedicated to ending poverty in this country, poverty costs Canada between $72 billion and $84 billion a year.

In Nova Scotia, the total cost of poverty is about $2.4 billion, equal to seven per cent of provincial GDP, says the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The reasons are diverse. They include poorer health that leads to heavier reliance on the health-care system, higher incarceration rates and significant government spending on social assistance.