It’s February 27th, and that means it’s Pink Shirt Day in Canada.
#PinkShirtDay is the Number 1 trending on Twitter in Canada as I write this.
Find out what is Pink Shirt Day is all about via CBC.
Albert Elliott spends his days as a crossing guard, helping to keep young people safe as they get to and from school. And virtually every evening, he can be found at a Moncton homeless shelter, where he helps with dinner and sets up beds for the night.
On Facebook, Charlie Burrell, who runs the shelter, posted a tribute to Albert Elliott:
“He is an exceptional, loving human being with a heart of gold, and he’s always so happy and positive.”
The Canadian Liberal government is looking to lift two million Canadians out of poverty by 2030 without committing to new spending.
Justin Trudeau’s government will introduce legislation “as early as possible” to entrench the official poverty line into law. The new plan links multiple federal programs to efforts to reduce poverty and predicts those measures will lift about 650,000 Canadians out of poverty by 2019, next year.
Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos pointed to a list of already announced federal programs to reach that goal.
Duclos was in Vancouver Tuesday to unveil the Liberal’s anti-poverty plan, called “Opportunity for All — Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy.”
It calls for a reduction in the rate of poverty by 20 per cent from 2015 levels by 2020 and by 50 per cent by 2030.
That would mean about 2.1 million people would no longer live under the poverty line within 12 years.
Read More at CBC
U.S. News & World Report has released their annual “Best Countries” index.
They evaluated 80 countries and surveyed 21,000 people from four regions (the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa). Countries were graded 65 different ways, from how well they rank in “citizenship,” “cultural influence,” “education,” “heritage,” “power,” to “quality of life,” to name a few.
Interestingly, both the UK and the USA are down one position in this year’s rankings.
More at US News & World Report
Five years ago the top five cities were Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Hamilton.
This year the top five are Ottawa, Quebec City, Hamilton, Edmonton, and Windsor.
“There are two key reasons to move,” BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic wrote in the report. “To find a job, if you don’t have one; or to take a better-paying job, if you do.”
BMO’s “ranking of labour market attractiveness,” as the report calls it, is purely data-driven. “Mountains vs. lakes, or seafood vs. beef, are among many other important considerations, but such lifestyle factors are ignored here,” Kavcic wrote.
BMO looked at factors such as median household income, job growth, house prices and rental rates to determine their rankings.
Read about it at Driving.ca
Twenty-seven per cent claim they have no wiggle room after covering their monthly obligations. Another 44% say they’re within $200 of insolvency every month.
There hasn’t been a new major airport constructed in the United States since 1995. And the existing stock of terminals is badly in need of upgrades. Much of the surrounding road and rail infrastructure is in even worse shape (the trip from LaGuardia Airport to midtown Manhattan being particularly appalling). Washington, D.C.’s semi-functional subway system feels like a World’s Fair exhibit that someone forgot to close down. Detroit’s 90-year-old Ambassador Bridge—which carries close to $200 billion worth of goods across the Canada-U.S. border annually—has been operating beyond its engineering capacity for years. In 2015, the Canadian government announced it would be paying virtually the entire bill for a new bridge (including, amazingly, the U.S. customs plaza on the Detroit side), after Michigan’s government pled poverty. “We are unable to build bridges, we’re unable to build airports, our inner city school kids are not graduating,” is how JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon summarized the state of things during an earnings conference call last week. “It’s almost embarrassing being an American citizen.”
The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), a group of 35 wealthy countries, ranks its members by overall tax burden—that is, total tax revenues at every level of government, added together and then expressed as a percentage of GDP—and in latest year for which data is available, 2014, the United States came in fourth to last. Its tax burden was 25.9 percent—substantially less than the OECD average, 34.2 percent. If the United States followed that mean OECD rate, there would be about an extra $1.5 trillion annually for governments to spend on better schools, safer roads, better-trained police, and more accessible health care.
It’s really quite simple: When Canadian governments need more money, they raise taxes. Canadians are not thrilled when this happens. But as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. put it, taxes are the price paid “for civilized society.” And one of the reasons Canada strikes many visitors as civilized is that the rules of arithmetic generally are understood and respected on both sides of the political spectrum. When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hiked the marginal income-tax rate up over 50 percent on rich taxpayers, right-wing commentators expressed disapproval—but the issue was relegated to the status of political subplot.
July 6, 1914: Viola Irene Desmond (née Davis), a businesswoman and civil libertarian, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She would have been 104 years old today.
After a 1946 incident in which Desmond was arrested for sitting in a “Whites Only” section of a theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, she fought her conviction of defrauding the government of the difference in tax — one cent — between tickets in the racially-separated sections.
Though the conviction was upheld, her struggle became a catalyst for change.