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.
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.
With its untamed wilderness, gold rush past, and party-hardy reputation, Canada’s northern frontier offers a wild time—in every sense of the word.
The call of the wild emanates from just about everywhere in Canada’s Yukon Territory. Some locations are expected (evergreen forests, rugged mountain peaks, remote lakes) while others might surprise (a former brothel-now-bar, a wild-west-esque can-can show, a divey saloon). Looming large over this vast frontier north of the 60th parallel and east of Alaska are the stories and storied remains of the Klondike gold rush. Beginning in 1887, when word of gold in them thar (northern) hills reached southern cities, a stampede of 100,000 dreamers and schemers sailed north to Alaska, trudged over mountain passes into Canada, and sailed down the Yukon River to reach the gold fields. Take inspiration from their courage (or craziness) and find some wild times of your own.
After the U.S. Customs and Border Protection updated it’s directives on searches of electronic devices, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is warning Canadian citizens.
When crossing to the U.S., the privacy commissioner’s guidelines advise that “U.S. border officials have broad inspection powers which can include seeking passwords to your laptop, tablet or mobile phone.” These can be performed as part of a routine inspection, without evidence of any wrong doing, and without a warrant.
The updated U.S. customs directives state officers may only inspect data on the electronic devices and may not search remotely stored data, such as data that is kept in the cloud. These directives include U.S. preclearance sites in Canada.
However, they are free to inspect and copy the device with “reasonable suspicion of illegal activity or if there is a national security concern.” These are the loopholes.
Hundreds of volunteers belonging to the Syrian Civil Defence, also known as the White Helmet rescue organization, along with their families, were extracted late Saturday from the southwestern part of Syria under the cover of darkness by the Israeli military.
The southwestern portion of the war-torn country had become overrun by Syrian and Russian forces loyal to leader Bashar al-Assad.
“These are people who have saved lives and whose lives were in danger,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of the White Helmets. “Therefore, I approved their passage through Israel to additional countries as an important humanitarian gesture.”
“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.
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.