The living wage across Simcoe County has been pegged at $18.

“The living wage is the hourly wage a worker needs to earn in order to cover their basic expenses and to participate in the community.”
Ontario Living Wage Network

At a presentation Monday evening, City Councillors got a look at the math that goes into calculating a living wage, from the Simcoe County Poverty Reduction Task Group. It’s different than a minimum wage in that it is reflective of the basic necessities of life, and is regularly adjusted to take into consideration costs of living increases, as well as changes in government financing. The minimum wage is instead tethered to inflation.

The unintended consequence of the closure of Moncton’s tent city is that some of the people evicted are now putting up their tents on other vacant properties around the city.

Excavators were on site Monday, cleaning up leftover debris, and security is still manning the property.

Some are now seeking refuge behind vacant buildings downtown.

Business owners in the area say it’s making their job difficult.

Vancouver’s park board convened an emergency meeting last night (September 26) to discuss the situation in the Downtown Eastside’s Oppenheimer Park.

Despite the debate’s urgent tone, however, the evening concluded with a four-to-two vote to maintain the status quo.

City hall has pressured the board to file an injunction that would allow authorities to clear the park of dozens of homeless people who have camped there for many months now.

Instead, the board’s three Green commissioners—Stuart Mackinnon, Dave Demers, and Camil Dumont—plus COPE’s John Irwin voted to help homeless campers who want to leave Oppenheimer Park find more-stable housing on a voluntary basis.

Some Winnipeggers living in homeless camps just outside of the downtown core say they prefer the autonomy of the camp lifestyle to staying at a shelter.

Joseph Tulloch, who said he’s been living in a camp near Henry Avenue for almost a month, told 680 CJOB he and his wife don’t receive social assistance, so they panhandle to survive.

“We go for $40 a day, for our food and her cigarettes,” he said.

“It’s better than living at Salvation Army, really. We have no rules, we don’t have to be inside at curfew, we don’t have nosy people.”

Thirty-eight-year-old James Cochrane pitched his tent here about a week ago and he’s happy to stay as long as he can.

“I feel safe here,” Cochrane said.

Island Health issued an overdose alert on Wednesday, specifically, for the 900-block of Pandora after eight overdoses in 24 hours in and outside of the safe consumption site. A shortage of shelter beds is contributing to increasing chaos on the street, according to Grant McKenzie with Our Place Society.

“Victoria is one of the few cities across Canada that doesn’t have enough shelter space for everybody. All the other major cities have opened large shelters so that people can get in and out of the cold every night. We don’t have that,” McKenzie said.

The City of Moncton has dismantled a tent site along West Main Street on city-owned land near the railway.

The city issued an eviction notice on Monday but more time was given to leave due to the recent heavy rain.

An eviction notice was also issued to the residents of the tent city this week and support agencies were guiding them to the two existing homeless shelters.

A new homeless shelter was scheduled to open at 75 Albert Street in August but there have been delays and it’s not clear when it will be ready.

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.”