With so much wealth in the world, why is there so much poverty? Poverty slows the development of all societies, and it’s obvious that we should try to eradicate it, but it still seems intractable. How can we put poverty behind us? And what does our attitude towards poverty and social mobility tell us about who we are? A discussion from the Stratford Festival.

Social justice lawyer Fay Faraday talks about some of the factors around the problem of poverty.

I’m sure you’ve seen the guy who sits in front of the garbage cans at Guy-Concordia metro, with his “Kindness is not a weakness” sign leaning next to him and a perpetually empty Tim Horton’s cup at his feet. He’s there everyday, quietly asking for change or a meal.

Around Remembrance Day, another man appeared in the metro station to collect donations and give out poppies. In a surprising twist, the people who never before had change in their pockets for the man begging everyday were able to produce quarters and loonies for the poppies.

Most people rarely give money to panhandlers and are uncomfortable having homeless people loitering in public places. When fewer homeless people are visible, we don’t ask questions about where they went—we are just relieved the metro station is a little calmer. So it’s not a surprise to me that Montreal has anti-homeless infrastructure, because it teaches us that homelessness is best kept out of sight and out of mind. But problems don’t go away by ignoring them.

Catching families just before they head to an emergency shelter — and providing them some intensive help — prevented most from falling into homelessness over the long term, a new London study has found.

At least 90 per cent of families offered help through the novel research project remained housed 18 months later, the study by the Lawson Research Institute, Western University, the city of London and Mission Services of London concluded.

“They did fantastic. It is a very good news story,” lead researcher Cheryl Forchuk said Monday as the results were released.

The provincial government has appointed a 12-member Poverty Reduction Advisory Council with the goal to reduce poverty’s impact in P.E.I.

The council’s mandate is to look at short and long-term solutions to address poverty, as well as engaging the public, and various groups.

“We have a strong group of diverse individuals and I’m really looking forward to working with them,” said advisory council chair Roxanne Carter-Thompson. “The council will play a very important role in developing the provincial action plan focusing on housing, food, education, employment, community capacity building, and health.”

The renewed version of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign to lift poor people is holding its first national mobilization, with actions and events planned Monday in 32 states and the nation’s capital.

Poor people, clergy and activists in the Poor People’s Campaign plan to deliver letters to politicians in state capitol buildings demanding that leaders confront what they call systemic racism evidenced in voter suppression laws and poverty rates.

I wrote [sic] regarding Yvonne Earle’s letter, “A better way to cut health-care costs,” The Telegram, Jan. 26.

Did you know Canada remains the only country in the world with a public health-care system that does not cover the cost of prescription medications? Canadians remain with a fragmented system with inequitable drug coverage.

Medication is an essential component of a full range of treatment for some individuals living with physical and mental illness and disabilities.

At a time when other provinces are closing in on a $15 minimum wage, a Halifax researcher says Nova Scotia’s 15-cent increase is a “slap in the face to workers.”

On Wednesday, the province announced that on April 1 the minimum wage for experienced workers in the province will go up by 15 cents to $11 an hour.

The minimum wage for someone with less than three months experience is going up to $10.50 per hour.

“[It’s] pretty meaningless obviously,” Christine Saulnier, director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Nova Scotia said in an interview.