Our government tackling poverty: it’s time

Occupy Movement

Did you know that poverty costs the Province of British Columbia $9.2 billion annually? That is just one in a long line of reasons why it’s time the government stepped up to tackle this ever-growing issue. Below, UBC professor John Millar talks about this at greater length in his guest column in the Province newspaper.

Canadians might be surprised to learn that 86 families now hold more wealth than the poorest 11.4 million Canadians. Is this a Canada to be proud of? Hardly.

According to many studies, the Canadian poverty rate remains high. A recent OECD report shows that the very rich are taking an ever greater share of income. And a new study from three leading Canadian academics shows the rich obscure the total extent of their individual wealth through private companies, which means they are even richer than we thought.

Why should we care?

Because poverty and inequities hurt all of us in the long run. They erode social cohesion and create a burden on all taxpayers to pay for poverty reduction, health care services, unemployment, crime and homelessness.

Our economic system and well-being are at risk of serious deterioration unless we take action now.

Read the full column.