“Continuing to use research and data to shed light on how poverty and inequality are experienced across the city across intersections of gender, race, class, ability, sexuality, status, religion, and geography, and connecting that to meaningful and measurable actions and outcomes”
New data released in July from the 2021 Census confirm what we already knew: that bold and urgent action by government (in this case, in the form of temporary emergency benefits such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, or CERB) can significantly reduce poverty and economic inequality. While we saw reduced poverty in 2020, compared to 2015, as a result of this short-term injection of benefits, poverty levels were previously at unacceptably high levels, and they continue to be high, including in key low-income neighbourhoods across Toronto. Furthermore, even Statistics Canada has cautioned that these income improvements won’t “stick.” Many temporary benefits have dried up and, thanks to housing and affordability crises and the highest rate of inflation in almost 40 years, families across the city are under tremendous strain. See our latest blog post for more nuanced analysis of this new data.
Our Executive Director, Jin Huh, joined Feed Scarborough ED Suman Roy and United Way Greater Toronto CEO Daniele Zanotti on CBC's Metro Morning on October 14 to discuss what Toronto's next Council can do about poverty. Jin noted that the current mayor's prevailing narrative around the City budget — that we can only do so much — is, in fact, a political choice [link to austerity report] made through more than a decade of austerity budgets and a real reluctance to look at new revenue-generating tools.