Poverty in Canadian Society Christopher Salvo remarked on poverty in Canada: The fact is that poverty, as it has been traditionally understood, has been virtually eliminated. It is simply not a major problem in Canada (deGroot-Maggetti 1). Such remarks stress on the need of measuring poverty, which has become an issue in the absence of a government supported poverty measuring parameter…
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There is another traditional poverty measure criteria based on basic needs poverty measure, recommended by Fraser Institute. As per this measure poverty has reduced greatly in the past 60 years, as reported 4.9% in 2004 (Wikipedia para 2). Indicators of poverty have changed with the changing times. In comparison to middle class Europeans, the “poor” America possess larger homes; more than 70% have a car; about 20% have more than one transport medium; about 60% poor have two or more television sets. The traditional definition of poor denoting those who have deficiency of food, shelter, and clothing holds minimum authenticity, therefore, requires redefining (Bauman 6). Before considering poverty in relative terms we need to find the parameters to compare, what are the standards, global or the highest known standards in Canada and Europe, as examples from third world could be the worst on absolute poverty (Segal 7). Milton Freedman, one the great post-war Nobel Prize winning conservative economists put the case this way: “The programme should be designed to help people as people not as members of particular occupational groups or age groups or wage-rate groups or labour organizations or industries” (Segal 18). ...
Canada could not meet the poverty targets set by the United Nations in 1996, the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty, as reported by the National Council of Welfare. Since1990s such figures have been presented that indicate a rise in the number of poor people in Canada. Even at the height of economic boom, rate of downfall in poverty was slow. There is no unanimous opinion on it, as all depends on how we define and measure poverty. Some indicators to the rise in poverty include peoples’ increasing dependence on food banks and emergency shelters. Between 1989 and 2000 the use of food banks had increased by 96%. At a boom period of 1997-2000, the food bank use increased by 9.4%. Housing has become a big issue for poor people. Canadian youth are the leading community in the matter of homelessness but when it comes to measuring poverty, computations on poverty lines are not unanimous (deGroot-Maggetti 1-3). So far as poverty lines are concerned, in Canada there is no dearth of poverty measures. The federal government has a number of poverty indicating measures. Besides, the social councils, organizations, and independent researchers have evolved their own measures. Yet provincial social help rates offer another set of poverty lines. Absolute measures stress on basic human needs while relative measures point towards the insufficiency of standards socially accepted above poverty line (deGroot-Maggetti 3). Due to different measuring standards of poverty, the term has become somewhat ambiguous. A further research into the causes of poverty in Canada can help in making the meaning clear. Many factors are responsible for poverty although there is difference in a “factor” and a “cause”. A “cause” adds to the emerging of an issue such as poverty
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