Canada: Drummond report recommendations will be devastating to low income Ontarians

March 18th, 2012

Published on, by John Bonnar, March 17, 2012.

(Hruschka): She lost her job as a bookkeeper in 2009. A victim of workplace bullying.

  • Since then, she’s been looking for another job. But several of her front teeth are missing and she can’t afford to get them fixed.
  • Yet somehow she barely manages to survive on welfare … //

… Like Hruschka, Ursula Samuels lives on welfare with her 16-year-old so:   

  • She makes several stops at a local food bank every month just to make ends meet.
  • Other times, she has to decide between paying a bill or putting food on the table or sending her son to school without a lunch.
  • She worries that she’ll fall behind even more, if the Drummond report recommendations are adopted.

While Hruschka and Samuels struggle on welfare, Patti Encinas, a single mother with two boys, is forced to get by on an annual income below the poverty line:

  • Her take-home pay has only increased $200 a month in the last 9 years.
  • Yet she estimates her living expenses have gone up by at least 40 per cent during that same period.
  • She’s looking for a new apartment because she can’t afford the rent where she lives right now.
  • Encinas shares a two-bedroom apartment with her sons but her limited income puts severe restrictions on where she can live. Even a two-bedroom that rents for $825 a month plus hydro is too much for her.
  • “That’s almost 50 per cent of my income,” she says.
  • “So we are looking for a cheaper place to live.”
  • She doesn’t go on vacations. Or eat out in restaurants or go to sporting events. No cable television or cellphones. Cooks everything from scratch.
  • “We watch every single penny,” she says. “I’m working so I’m far better off than a lot of these people are.”
  • So she’s got enough money to pay her rent and transportation costs as well as put food on the table.
  • “But that’s all I have,” she says. “Just the basic necessities.”
  • And she may not even be able to meet her family’s basic needs if the province adopts Don Drummond’s recommendations.
  • “There’s a huge possibility I’ll lose my job,” she says.
  • “And then I’ll be on welfare with my family until I can find another job, leaving more people dependent on services that Drummond says we can’t afford to offer.”
  • Without a job, she says there’s no chance her children will be able to go to college, leaving them trapped in a life of poverty.
  • “It’s going to be a grim future for them if they graduate from high school and have to go work for $10.25 an hour,” she says.
  • “Because they’ll never be able to build a life for themselves.”

(full text).


Canada: Alternative Federal Budget 2012: A budget for the rest of us, on, by David Macdonald, March 16, 2012;

The prescription drugs bubble, … a section from the lead paper, “Public debt tipping point studies ignore how exchange rate changes may create a financial meltdown”, by Robin Pope and Reinhard Selten, March 15, 2012;

The 13,6% decrease in hourly wage costs in Greece after the third quarter of 2009, on RWER blog, by Robin Pope and Reinhard Selten, March 15, 2012;

… et en français:

Olivier Delamarche – Mario Draghi va imprimer des billets qui ne valent rien, 21 février 2012, 7.07 min, dans BFM Business;

Suisse /Actualité: Communications de l’administration fédérale.

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