The mayor’s inner circle supported a motion Tuesday asking the city’s public service to create a poverty reduction strategy for Winnipeg.

Roughly one person in eight in Winnipeg live in poverty, according to an administrative report by the community services department using 2016 Statistics Canada data.

For Indigenous peoples and newcomers the situation is more grim — one in four people belonging to either group live in poverty. Among those Winnipeggers without a home, the vast majority — 66 per cent — are Indigenous.

As a health economist, Evelyn Forget is most often asked how to keep costs of the health-care system under control and make things more sustainable. That eventually brought her to the issue of poverty.

“One of the things you realize very quickly is a lot of health-care dollars go into treating the consequences of poverty,” she said in a phone interview.

The University of Manitoba medical school professor has most recently been considering the question of a basic income guarantee, something she and others will discuss during a free event today at the Halifax Central Library from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Homelessness is a “mass catastrophe,” comparable to the devastation of a plane crash in a city and unless it is taken seriously, it will get worse, a conference heard Friday.

Beset by physical and mental health challenges as well as addiction issues, homeless people will meet tragic outcomes unless there is urgent action, Iain De Jong, chief executive of OrgCode Consulting, told a gathering at Western Fair’s Carousel Room.

Evelyn Forget has quite literally written the book on basic income for Canadians. It’s called, you guessed it, Basic Income for Canadians.

In advance of her talk at this year’s Basic Income NS conference on Saturday at the Central Library, I called up Forget to ask her about the basics of basic income.

The interview has been edited for length & clarity, and to make my rambling questions sound snappy and to the point.

“We’re seeing homelessness in town for the first time in 15 years,” said Jay Wagstaff, of the Compass Church in Shelburne. “As the town gets bigger it’s a little more apparent, a little more in your face.”

He said that while food bank usage rates continue to rise in town, visible homelessness is also more present, with individuals sitting on street corners in the early morning hours and later in the evenings.

“There isn’t any shelter per se for these people to go,” he said, noting that it’s up to churches, the local food bank and other groups to connect individuals with resources.

About two weeks after the city cleared out about 20 people living in the Esplanade Park area behind the Penticton Marina, many of the camps have re-established.

Winter homeless shelters in Penticton closed on April 1, leaving the city’s homeless on the streets while construction crews work away on a pair of supportive housing projects.

While some set up for the night in breezeways and alleys, Penticton’s homeless have long set up in the Esplanade Trail, an area dubbed by some “the hobo jungle” or “hobo trails.”