Inequality Is Not Inevitable
L'inégalité n'est pas inévitable
Sherri Torjman and Ken Battle,
This paper was written at the invitation of Canada 2020 as part of an anthology on five major challenges facing Canada. Contributing authors to The Canada We Want in 2020 project were asked to submit brief, focused papers on concrete and practicable steps that could be taken by the federal government to tackle one of the designated challenges – in this case, poverty and inequality.
The paper briefly explores the separate, but linked, problems of poverty and inequality in this country. It considers the many economic and social factors that contribute to high poverty and rising inequality. The negative consequences to both individuals and the broader society are discussed.
Poverty and inequality are complex problems that require a set of linked interventions related to affordable housing, early childhood development and child care, education and skills training, and decent employment opportunities that pay a living wage.
This paper focuses, however, upon the crucial redistributive role of the federal government through income security programs and a progressive income tax system. The Working Income Tax Benefit and Canada Child Tax Benefit are two levers that are currently in place. The authors argue for a substantial boost to these programs as a way to land a solid punch on poverty and inequality – now.
The link to The Canada We Want in 2020 book is available at http://canada2020.ca/canada-we-want/
View English document in PDF format.
View French document in PDF Format.
Copies of our publications are also available, upon request, in Microsoft Word format. Please contact the Caledon Institute for information.
HAVE YOU SEEN
-‘Basic Income’ or ‘Bait and Switch’?
-Disability Supports and Employment Policy
-Strengthening Canada’s Public Employment Service Post-Devolution
-Minimum Wage, Maximum Wager in Alberta
-Using low income and material deprivation to monitor poverty reduction
-Some thoughts on a National Housing Strategy
-Innovation: counting what counts
-Canada Pension Plan: The New Deal
-Risks and rewards of the sharing economy
-Long-Term Commitment for Long-Term Care
-The Labour Market Agreements: What Did They Really Do?
-When is a dollar more than a dollar?
-The Canada Child Benefit Needs to be Fully Indexed to Inflation
-Welfare in Canada, 2014
-May 19, 2016: Michael Mendelson Addresses the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on changes to the Employment Insurance program in the 2016 federal Budget
-Video - Data Rescue
-Video - Sherri Torjman: Five Good Ideas about Policy
-Video - Sherri Torjman: Canada@150 address
-Video - Sherri Torjman: Shared Space & Community Recreation
Risks and rewards of the sharing economy
Sherri Torjman, June 13, 2016
This commentary was