Category Archives: Uncategorized

Rising inflation in Saskatchewan & its impact on low-income residents

Saskatchewan saw the largest increase in consumer prices, compared to all other Canadian provinces between December 2016 and December 2017.  A major factor in the increase is thought to be the tax changes implemented with the last provincial budget. This article by the CBC highlights some of the ways that low-income residents in the province have been impacted e.g. a large jump in emergency food basket usage at the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre.

Link to the article:

A thought about government transfers

In 2015 over 100,000 seniors in Sask received Canada Pension Plan or Old Age Assistance. 118,000 families received the Child Benefit. 52,000 received Employment Assistance and 50,000 Social Assistance.
Government transfers are very important to the economic well being of Sask. residents. Our economy would plummet if they were taken away as is happening in the U.S.
We need to protect them.

Advocacy group calls for payday loan reform

From CBC Saskatchewan:

It is expensive to be low-income. Many low-income families turn to payday loans when unexpected circumstances pop up–which can end up charging them effective annual interest rates of up to 600%. The social justice organization ACORN has been calling for governments to force payday loan companies to lower the rates they charge.

Some promising developments:

  • In February 2018, Saskatchewan is going to be setting the maximum borrowing charge on payday loans at 17% (down from 23%).
  • Affinity Credit Union in Saskatchewan has started making “microloans” (small loans which can be paid back over a period of to 2 years) available to customers who would normally turn to payday loans.

Link to article:

There is a prescription for poverty’s punishing impact on health in Ontario

In this article in the Toronto Star, physicians advocate for changes to their province’s income security system to improve health and reduce the cost to society.


Changes to Sask dietary supplement benefit

From the article from CBC Saskatchewan: families are being impacted by the recent elimination of the standardized 3,000-calorie diet benefit in the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program and Saskatchewan Assistance Program. The story of Alan Hall and Marianne Hollman-Hall is presented; the Halls both have disabilities and relied on that additional $75 benefit to help them afford the healthy food they need. The diet benefit change is expected to affect 760 people on Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability program, and 600 people on the Saskatchewan Assistance Program. Alan Hall now only receives $125 per month for food under the SAID program and is calling for that benefit to be increased to at least $300 per month; Hall says the benefit has not been increased in 32 years despite a dramatic rise in food costs over the decades.

Link to article:

Rally – October 17th

Rally at the Saskatchewan Legislature: October 17th at noon

October 17 is the International Day for Eradication of Poverty! Let’s send a strong message to the SK government and let them know what they have to do to eradicate poverty in our province.

‘Chew on This’ event in Regina

From CBC Saskatchewan:

As part of the nation-wide ‘Chew on This’ campaign, anti-poverty advocates in Regina (including Peter Gilmer from the Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry and Poverty Free Saskatchewan) handed out apples and information to passersby to raise awareness and discussion.

Budget 2017: For the Few, Not the Many

The 2017 provincial budget contained many cuts particularly detrimental to people living with poverty. Budget 2017: For the Few, Not the Many documents the impacts of these changes. budget_2017_PFS (final) June 15

P.E.I. votes to move forward on basic income pilot

From the CBC: the P.E.I. Legislature voted this week to support a basic-income pilot project in the province, done in partnership with the federal government. All MLAs voted in favour of the motion, citing the potential benefits to health, education, crime rates, and human potential.

URL for article:

Dec 6 talk – “Poverty Reduction & the Current Sask Economic Climate”

JSGS Public Lecture ~ Poverty Reduction and the Current Saskatchewan Economic Climate – on December 6, 2016.
This event will be moderated by Dr. Daniel Béland, JSGS, and will feature a panel:
Chuk Plante, PhD Student, McGill University
Ali Abukar, Executive Director, Saskatoon Open Door Society
Caitlin Olauson, Centre for Integrative Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Bill Mintram, Executive Director, Saskatoon Indian & Métis Friendship Centre
In 2015 the Government of Saskatchewan committed to, and developed, a poverty reduction strategy. Over the course of the past year, agencies and sectors that work in communities to reduce poverty have been patiently awaiting an implementation plan for the strategy. Now faced with the current economic downturn and looming provincial budget cuts, it is time to open a conversation about how critical it is to invest in poverty reduction in times of economic decline. This conversation will capture the historical background of poverty reduction strategies in Saskatchewan and across Canada, address the economic argument for investing in poverty reduction and provide 3 distinct sector perspectives to increase awareness of how important social investment is to our province.
December 06, 2016
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Saskatoon: Prairie Room, Diefenbaker Centre, University of Saskatchewan
Regina (Video Conference): Room 210, 2 Research Drive, University of Regina
There is no cost to attend, but those interested in attending are encouraged to register as seating is limited.
Complete event details and online registration available here.