Ontario: more poverty, inequality, hunger, homelessness/OSDC

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sat, 14 Nov 1998 01:00:40 -0400


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"In the course of dealing with the economic deficit, we have created a
social deficit"
Bruce Schwartzentruber of Community ProAction [inset in article below]

http://www2.thestar.com:80/thestar/editorial/news/981113NEW04_CI-LIFE13.html
FWD  Toronto Star - November 13, 1998


A PROVINCE OF `HAVES AND HAVE NOTS'

Quality of life  improves overall,  survey finds

By  Elaine Carey, Toronto Star  Demographics Reporter


Ontario's overall quality of life is improving, but only two areas that
took part in a new survey - Quinte and Peterborough - scored above the
provincial average.

 Nine other areas, including Toronto, lagged well behind, says the survey
by the Ontario Social Development Council, released yesterday.

 In the midst of plenty for some, more poverty, inequality, hunger and
homelessness mean a growing number of people are not sharing in the general
economic upturn, the survey found.

 Ontario is becoming a province of ``have and have-not communities and have
and have-not neighbourhoods within communities,'' said Ontario council head
Malcolm Shookner.

 ``International research tells us countries with large disparities between
the rich and poor will not prosper in the long term.''

 For the third time since last fall, the council combined 12 indicators of
social, health, environmental and economic well-being to produce a
quality-of-life index, then for the first time, had 11 local social
planning councils also complete the survey for their own areas.

 The Ontario index stood at 96.9 - still below the pre-recession base of
100 in 1990 - but well up from 87 last fall.

However, the survey found that ``growing numbers of Ontarians do not have
enough income to provide food, shelter and clothing for themselves or their
families.

 ``The growth of hunger and homelessness in Ontario is reaching crisis
proportions.''

The survey included indicators such as hours of poor air quality, low
birth-weight babies and the public housing waiting list.

It found that Toronto is being left behind, trailing most other areas of
the province as a decent place to live.

 The Toronto index stood at a dismal 66.8, more than 30 points below the
Ontario index and well behind Quinte, Peterborough, North Bay,
Lennox/Addington, Halton, Guelph and Brant.

 Only three areas that participated - Thunder Bay, Kingston and Frontenac -
fell below Toronto.

 ``We are not doing well in relation to other communities,'' said Peter
Clutterbuck, co-director of the Community Social Planning Council of
Toronto.

 The city was hit hard by the recession of the early '90s, has been perhaps
the slowest area of the country to recover and the real question is ``where
is this going to bottom out before the next recession hits,'' he said.

 While the economy has improved recently, it has not recovered to the 1990
levels, and more working people are in low-wage jobs with no benefits, he
said.

 And while the numbers on social assistance benefits are declining, they
are ``deceiving,'' because fewer people are now eligible to receive them.

``In the course of dealing with the economic deficit, we have created a
social deficit,'' said Bruce Schwartzentruber of Community ProAction, which
helped prepare the report.

Among the dismal Toronto indicators:

*Public housing waiting lists have jumped by more than one and a half times
since 1990, ``a scandalous increase,'' and now make up more than half the
waiting list of the whole province.

*The number on social assistance, the second ``scandalous'' indicator,
jumped from 89,050 in 1990 to 220,879 in 1994, a 174 per cent increase
before dropping 20 per cent in the next four years, which is not a positive
sign if it ``means people are abandoned.''

*The number of elderly waiting for long-term care has risen by 40 per cent
in the past two years - a trend also province-wide - as ``the pressures of
an aging population are felt by a health care system in transition.''

What ``really saves Toronto'' are the environmental indicators, which are
improving, said Clutterbuck.

END FORWARD
-

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **

HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page
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"In the course of dealing with the economic deficit, we have created a
social deficit" 

Bruce Schwartzentruber of Community ProAction [inset in article below]


http://www2.thestar.com:80/thestar/editorial/news/981113NEW04_CI-LIFE13.html

FWD  Toronto Star - November 13, 1998     



<paraindent><param>right,left</param>A PROVINCE OF `HAVES AND HAVE
NOTS' 


Quality of life  improves overall,  survey finds


By  Elaine Carey, Toronto Star  Demographics Reporter

</paraindent>


Ontario's overall quality of life is improving, but only two areas that
took part in a new survey - Quinte and Peterborough - scored above the
provincial average.


 Nine other areas, including Toronto, lagged well behind, says the
survey by the Ontario Social Development Council, released yesterday.


 In the midst of plenty for some, more poverty, inequality, hunger and
homelessness mean a growing number of people are not sharing in the
general economic upturn, the survey found.


 Ontario is becoming a province of ``have and have-not communities and
have and have-not neighbourhoods within communities,'' said Ontario
council head Malcolm Shookner.


 ``International research tells us countries with large disparities
between the rich and poor will not prosper in the long term.''


 For the third time since last fall, the council combined 12 indicators
of social, health, environmental and economic well-being to produce a
quality-of-life index, then for the first time, had 11 local social
planning councils also complete the survey for their own areas.


 The Ontario index stood at 96.9 - still below the pre-recession base
of 100 in 1990 - but well up from 87 last fall.


However, the survey found that ``growing numbers of Ontarians do not
have enough income to provide food, shelter and clothing for themselves
or their families.


 ``The growth of hunger and homelessness in Ontario is reaching crisis
proportions.''


The survey included indicators such as hours of poor air quality, low
birth-weight babies and the public housing waiting list.


It found that Toronto is being left behind, trailing most other areas
of the province as a decent place to live. 


 The Toronto index stood at a dismal 66.8, more than 30 points below
the Ontario index and well behind Quinte, Peterborough, North Bay,
Lennox/Addington, Halton, Guelph and Brant.


 Only three areas that participated - Thunder Bay, Kingston and
Frontenac - fell below Toronto. 


 ``We are not doing well in relation to other communities,'' said Peter
Clutterbuck, co-director of the Community Social Planning Council of
Toronto.


 The city was hit hard by the recession of the early '90s, has been
perhaps the slowest area of the country to recover and the real
question is ``where is this going to bottom out before the next
recession hits,'' he said.


 While the economy has improved recently, it has not recovered to the
1990 levels, and more working people are in low-wage jobs with no
benefits, he said.


 And while the numbers on social assistance benefits are declining,
they are ``deceiving,'' because fewer people are now eligible to
receive them.


``In the course of dealing with the economic deficit, we have created a
social deficit,'' said Bruce Schwartzentruber of Community ProAction,
which helped prepare the report.


Among the dismal Toronto indicators:


*Public housing waiting lists have jumped by more than one and a half
times since 1990, ``a scandalous increase,'' and now make up more than
half the waiting list of the whole province. 


*The number on social assistance, the second ``scandalous'' indicator,
jumped from 89,050 in 1990 to 220,879 in 1994, a 174 per cent increase
before dropping 20 per cent in the next four years, which is not a
positive sign if it ``means people are abandoned.''


*The number of elderly waiting for long-term care has risen by 40 per
cent in the past two years - a trend also province-wide - as ``the
pressures of an aging population are felt by a health care system in
transition.''


What ``really saves Toronto'' are the environmental indicators, which
are improving, said Clutterbuck.


END FORWARD

-

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink.net>

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