Blame the parents for suffering of children on the margins

Developmentally delayed children come into a failing welfare system due to irresponsible parents placing substance abuse ahead of their children

Blame the parents for suffering of children on the marginsMore than half of Winnipeg’s Indigenous homeless population are former wards of Child and Family Services (CFS). A former CFS ward explained on CBC recently that the 50 per cent figure was too low, not taking into account the significant number of former wards who “couch surf.” This group relies on the kindness of acquaintances…

Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptom

We need to address contributing factors to homelessness, including mental illness, addictions and poverty

Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptomTonight, an increasing number of Canadians face the prospect of sleeping in a tent – not to welcome the summer camping season but as a last resort. Unlike regulated campgrounds, tent cities are without electricity, water and often bathrooms. These makeshift encampments appear to be on the rise with Winnipeg and Nanaimo, B.C., being two…

Saskatchewan budget misses opportunity on rental housing assistance

It’s more effective to supplement rents in times of high vacancy because each dollar spent gets the tenant more

Saskatchewan budget misses opportunity on rental housing assistanceIn the recent Saskatchewan budget, the government made the surprise announcement that it would slowly phase out a rental housing assistance program known as the Saskatchewan Rental Housing Supplement. Given current rental housing market realities, the government ought to have done the complete opposite and expanded the program. High vacancy rates create a desirable climate…

Market factors, not national strategies, make housing affordable

As homes age, they should filter through various socio-economic strata. But construction approval roadblocks slow that process to a crawl

Market factors, not national strategies, make housing affordableBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute The federal government’s new National Housing Strategy will benefit specific groups but doesn’t target broader affordability issues in Canada’s most expensive housing markets. The strategy includes a portable “housing benefit” of $2,500 per year, on average, to low-income households. It also proposes the construction or renovation of hundreds…

Bring out the best in others by bringing out the best in yourself

The desire to love and serve others is innate in the human spirit. And those traits can help us accomplish great things as a society

Bring out the best in others by bringing out the best in yourself“You get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want,” said writer and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. There’s tremendous depth to this statement and as many interpretations as there are people on the planet. It shines in direct contrast to the ideal of the rugged individualist so…

The work to end poverty and homelessness is just beginning

The National Housing Strategy’s $40-billion investment is good news for Canada. But the devil is in the details

The work to end poverty and homelessness is just beginningAt last, Canada stands with other developed nations with its new National Housing Strategy (NHS). But while this historic step forward by the federal government represents what many activists have sought for decades, is it time to rejoice? Will the staggering $40 billion promised over 10 years amend nearly a quarter of a century of federal…

Housing First can curb the high cost of homelessness

Homelessness costs Canadians big money without addressing the causes

Housing First can curb the high cost of homelessnessFor most of his life, Murray Barr was an ordinary American. Everything changed abruptly when his story of personal tragedy and period of homelessness created a media frenzy. Malcom Gladwell, in his article Million Dollar Murray, used Murray as an example of how homelessness was costing taxpayers in Reno, Nevada, around $1 million despite Murray not…

Can $11 billion end homelessness in Canada?

Building structures isn't enough. But by bringing together supports and housing, we can give homes to people who struggle with health and shelter needs

Can $11 billion end homelessness in Canada?We’ve grown accustomed to seeing homeless people walk among us in countless North American cities. They’re often in the shadows, and often show visible signs of duress from addiction, mental illness or basic hopelessness. We've become desensitized to their experiences. Many cities in Europe and Australia share North America’s inability to address chronic homelessness through policy, programs…

The best kind of social medicine in Medicine Hat

By eliminating homelessness, the Alberta city has reduced the crime rate, the workload on first responders, hospital emergency visits and pressure on the courts

The best kind of social medicine in Medicine HatFormer American president Jimmy Carter said, “The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.” Serving those in need may seem simply like the charitable thing to do. When we look a bit deeper, however, we see that many social programs help the entire population. Even on a…

Vancouver’s tax on vacant homes misses the point

When new homes don't keep up with demand, buyers or renters bid for a dwindling pool of listings, pushing prices up and people out

Vancouver’s tax on vacant homes misses the pointBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Vancouver city council needs a multi-faceted approach to encouraging growth in the supply of housing in the city. It's latest strategy falls far short. Council recently approved an annual one per cent tax on the value of vacant homes. The move was made to encourage owners…