Poverty

Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot Shows Promise

Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot Shows Promise

February 28, 2018 at 12:34 pm

Perhaps one of Charles Dickens’ most famous lines was Oliver Twist’s “Please sir, I want some more.” First published in monthly installments from February 1837 to April 1839, Oliver Twist was pretty much an attack on Britain’s Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834. As G.K. Chesterton wrote in an introductionRead More

The Poor We Have Always With Us?

The Poor We Have Always With Us?

February 14, 2018 at 12:06 pm

First, some numbers: according to Statistics Canada, in 2016, Canadian households spent, on average, $8,784.00 on food, 26% of that on restaurant meals. In Nova Scotia last year, a single woman on social assistance received $532.00 for housing, $275.00 as a personal allowance and $36.00 for drugs, medical and transportation.Read More

Helping the Homeless in CBRM

Helping the Homeless in CBRM

January 17, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Fifteen years ago, my first assignment for The Cape Bretoner (a magazine that unfortunately ceased publication in 2006) was a story on homelessness in Cape Breton. I don’t recall if the 2003 winter was as severe as the past few weeks have been, but there were signs of hope andRead More

Source: Vatican News

Pope Francis: Advocating for the Poor, Making Enemies

January 3, 2018 at 12:04 pm

Pope Francis came to the papacy as an outsider, a non-European and the first Jesuit elected leader of the world’s Catholics. He very quickly gave up many of the traditional trappings of the papacy and encouraged — even required — those of us who have more to share with theRead More

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 45

Gardening Tips for Seedy Characters: Week 45

November 15, 2017 at 11:30 am

The Calculus of Cold As part of my Northern Immersion experience, my daughter and I keep Nunavut CBC on all the time. This means that more than 50% of the programming is in Inuktitut, a language said to be the second most difficult in the world to learn, next toRead More

Female Deacons: Now or Never?

Female Deacons: Now or Never?

November 1, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Were you aware that St. Francis of Assisi was a deacon? He had never wanted to be ordained to the priesthood, and when he explained to those in charge exactly what he wanted to do, which was simply to serve the poor, he was advised that he should be ordainedRead More

Checking In On Ontario’s Basic Income Experiment

Checking In On Ontario’s Basic Income Experiment

October 18, 2017 at 11:49 am

Earlier this year, the idea of a guaranteed annual income (GAI) was in the news, including in The Cape Breton Spectator where yours truly wrote about Ontario’s plan to “launch a pilot project to assess whether a basic income can better support vulnerable workers, improve health and education outcomes forRead...

Lose Your Job, Go to the Food Bank?

Lose Your Job, Go to the Food Bank?

October 11, 2017 at 11:51 am

This past Saturday found me driving along Route 4 listening to commercial radio. (I know what you’re thinking: did last Saturday also find you breathing and blinking at regular intervals? Did it find you wearing shoes? But you have to understand, I haven’t owned a car or listened to commercialRead More

Friendship. (Photo by Rufino, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Ethicist: Ally, Role Model, Indifferent or Dementor?

October 11, 2017 at 11:49 am

I recently attended an ethics conference which addressed the question of how healthcare organizations and other social institutions should respond to cultural, religious, and sexual diversity in their patients, students and staff. One of the speakers was particularly interesting for me, because her talk was focused on ways in whichRead More

Letter to the Editor: Myth of Representative Government

Letter to the Editor: Myth of Representative Government

October 11, 2017 at 11:45 am

Has anyone else wondered why our political leaders at every level of government give lip service to representing the constituents they seek support from only when they are campaigning for office or forming the political opposition in the legislature? Ritually, leaders of political parties promise and promise and promise someRead More