Poverty increases in contentious National Household Survey | National Union of Public and General Employees

Poverty increases in contentious National Household Survey

The Survey showed that those living in the poorest neighbourhoods are disproportionately visible minorities, immigrants and single-parents and that women continue to earn less than men, even though they achieve higher levels of education.

Ottawa (16 Sept. 2013) - The media was abuzz last week with the release of the last installment of Statistic Canada's National Household Survey (2011).

Major concerns about quality of the National Household Survey as a result of the cancellation of the long form census form

The survey provides data on a host of social issues from how many people ride the bus, to how many people live in poverty.  Much consternation was expressed with the release of the National Survey on the basis that its results cannot be compared with previous census numbers because the methodology and instrument used to collect the data this time round was different, thanks to the 2009 elimination of the mandatory long form. 

As a result, there is no sense of the trends in the country or how things are evolving.  This is, indeed, problematic.  The gathering of this type of statistical information – at considerable cost to taxpayers, no doubt - should at least be available as a yardstick to measure progress and as a valid and reliable tool to hold governments accountable.

4.8 million people or close to 15% live in poverty in Canada

While the National Survey may be flawed, if nothing else it provides us with one more reality check about the persistence of poverty in this country:  the Survey reveals that 4.8 million people or close to 15 per cent of the population in Canada is living in poverty – that is, struggling to pay the rent, find decent employment and access nutritious and adequate food.  Fifteen per cent of our population is poor and yet Canada is one of the richest countries in the world.  And who is suffering the most? The Survey showed that those living in the poorest neighbourhoods are disproportionately visible minorities, immigrants and single-parents and that women continue to earn less than men, even though they achieve higher levels of education.

Canada Without Poverty (CWP) pushes forward on agenda to eliminate poverty

Canda Without Poverty (CWP) doesn’t need to know much more than this to reinvigorate our resolve. We are ready to push and to push hard to ensure that the voices of poor people are heard across the country and real solutions are implemented. We are renewing efforts to have politicians of all political stripes commit, through legislative action, to addressing Canada’s most significant and pressing human rights problem: poverty.

So, while Parliamentarians may not be working on the Hill right now, rest assured, CWP is toiling away just down the road!  Recently we’ve appeared in print media rallying for a living wage in the Report on Business in the Globe and Mail and on television speaking about the effects of poverty on health, and responding to the National Household Survey.You can find out more about the work CWP does and what will be ahead in the coming months by visiting its website.

More information:

Canada Without Poverty

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE