HIV and Poverty in Canada

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Resource: The Women's Economic Justice Project
In July 2005 the Women's Livable Income Working Group (c/o SWAG) began an 18 month project funded by Status of Women Canada to examine how women would benefit from a Guaranteed Livable Income. This initiative addresses the feminization of poverty and the resulting economic barriers to women's participation in the political life of their community. (English only)

FYI: More dental hygienists to treat pregnant women on low incomes
Expectant mothers with periodontal disease (a chronic, low-grade infection of the gums) may be more likely to deliver a low-weight baby, new research suggests. Given the findings, Toronto Public Health is taking the periodontal link seriously. It's asked for $400,000 to hire more dental hygienists to treat pregnant women on low incomes. (English only)

FYI: Filling Empty Bellies vs Providing Nutritious Food
Dear Canadian Association of Food Banks,
Our food bank has become increasingly aware of the quality of food that we distribute to our clients. Many of them face health problems that are directly connected to an unhealthy diet. We are working to increase awareness about the importance of choosing nutritious foods whenever possible, but we are also struggling with the dilemma of having to accept poor quality donations because they are offered to us, including through the NFSS.

We wonder if the CAFB and other food banks across the country are thinking about the same problems and what their response might be? We want to be part of a solution that includes both "filling empty bellies" and "regular access to nutritious, healthy food". - B.C. food bank

Read the reply in their newsletter: (English only)

Resource: Online Community Legal Education Resources
Trying to find a video on tenants' rights to show a Turkish-speaking tenants' group? Need information about what happens when a person with a disability reports abuse to the police? Looking for the latest
information on ODSP special diets? Then check out Now, for the first time, Ontario's community organizations and legal clinics have one central online place to find community legal education
resources, news, and events. Unique in Canada, CLEONet is an easily searchable collection of hundreds
of resources and news items, on a wide range of legal topics, and in a number of languages. CLEONet not only helps legal clinics and community organizations find resources, share information, and work together online, but also increases access to justice for Ontario's most vulnerable communities.
So spend a few minutes checking out the site. Then visit it again soon as we add new resources and news items all the time. And don't forget to give us your feedback so we can make CLEONet even better. (English only)

Report: The Choice in Child Care Allowance: What you See Is Not What You Get
Ken Battle, Caledon Institute, 12 Jan 06

The Conservatives’ plan for a “Choice in Child Care Allowance” is seriously flawed. Because the new program will trigger reductions in federal and provincial/territorial income-tested benefits and increases in income taxes, most families will end up with less – for modest-income families in the $30,000-$40,000 range, much less – than the gross $1,200 annual payment for every child under 6. The proposed scheme is really a child benefit, not a child care program.

Full report: The Choice in Child Care Allowance: What you See Is Not What You Get (English only)

ARCH Launches Fact Sheets on Abuse and Persons with Disabilities
in response to a pressing need for information on abuse as it relates to the experience of persons with disabilities, ARCH recently released a series of fact sheets on abuse and persons with disabilities. they are intended to give legal information and resources, including contact information, to persons with disabilities and the general public.

Toronto Star: Tighter rules for $250 supplement MD must specify qualifying illness
The Ontario government has quietly closed a loophole allowing thousands of welfare recipients an extra $250 a month. The special diet allowance hit the spotlight when an anti-poverty group held clinics to get doctors to sign people up for the payment — saying it was impossible to be healthy without the bonus because of low welfare rates. But the allowance was intended for people who have specific dietary requirements because of a medical condition such as diabetes or food allergies. The province changed the medical form last week, Community and Social Services Minister Sandra Pupatello said yesterday. "It was vague ... and we've just made it more specific so that in fact the special diet allowance will represent its proper use and that is people who have those medical conditions will continue to access it."

Homelessness, Housing and Harm Reduction: Stable Housing for Homeless People with Substance Use Issues
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC): This study investigates innovative housing programs for persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and are substance users. Thirteen such programs from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K are profiled. The research aims to identify those housing interventions which use a harm reduction approach most effectively help the target groups’ access and maintain stable housing. Download research highlight at:

Low-Income HIV-Positive People More Likely To Die Than Counterparts With Higher Incomes, Study Says
Access this story and related links online:
Low-income HIV-positive people are more likely to die than HIV-positive people who have higher incomes and more education, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, United Press International reports (United Press International, 11/1). Although treatment for HIV has improved, HIV-positive people with low socio-economic backgrounds have less access to health care services, including antiretroviral therapy. In addition, low-income individuals are more often infected with the virus.

Make Women's Poverty History
On the International Day for the Elimination of Poverty (October 17, 2005), the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) is releasing the third edition of its Fact Sheet on Women and Poverty.

National Hunger Awareness Day – June 7th
Canadian Association of Food Banks - We are very excited to announce that June 6th, 2006 marks the inaugural National Hunger Awareness Day in Canada. The goal is to raise public awareness of domestic hunger at both the National and Local levels.
A cross-sector of sponsors and stakeholders will be engaged ranging from media, faith-based groups, national corporations, politicians and the general public. By providing a toolkit to our food bank members across the country, localized activities will also emerge, raising food and funds. (English only)

Poverty & Health e-Bulletin, Fall 2005
This edition of the Ontario Women's Health Network e-bulletin explores the connection between poverty and health.

Enhancing Productivity Growth in Canada: Removing Barriers to Work for People with Episodic Disabilities
A Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, Submitted by: Episodic Disabilities Network

HR Council for the Voluntary/Non-profit Sector Officially Launches
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada recently announced funding to create the Human Resources Council for the Voluntary/ Non-profit Sector.
The council is a new, independent, nonprofit organization that will bring employers and employees together to provide leadership, build knowledge, and develop strategies on issues related to paid employment. The creation of the HR council follows a Feasibility Study (October 2003 - April 2005) that confirmed widespread interest in collaborative action to address issues related to the sector's paid labour force.

The council's board of directors held its inaugural meeting in late September, where board members reiterated the importance of collaborating with a broad range of stakeholders and engaging all organizations interested in the work of the council. The new HR Council joins thirty other sector councils dealing with HR issues in a wide range of sectors such as mining, childcare, and culture. For more information about the new council, visit:

The Ontario Tenants Toronto Tenants Web Site
This non-profit website not only provides information on tenants legal rights, but also on finding housing, discrimination, apartment security, social justice,
employment and training programs and much more. Visit this website at:

It even includes local community resources for communities throughout Ontario, such as Toronto Tenant Community Information at

Gender Budget Initiatives: Why they matter in Canada
New Report from Canadian Centre for Policy Initiatives
A new report by Isabella Bakker, released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA), says that the federal government’s current budgetary process is leaving women behind. The report concludes that if women are to be equal benefactors of federal budget surpluses, the federal government must stop ignoring its domestic and international commitments to undertake gender budget analysis in Canada.

Complete report available on-line at:

From Welfare to Work in Ontario: Still the Road Less Travelled
A new report prepared by TD Economics on behalf of the Task Force for Modernizing Income Security for Working Age Adults (MISWAA) highlights the need for broad based income security reform in Canada. The MISWAA Task Force, of which TD Bank Financial Group is a member, was launched last year by the Toronto City Summit Alliance (TCSA) and Toronto’s St. Christopher House to identify failings in the present income security system and recommend a road map for change. The Task Force is composed of leaders from the business, academic, government and non-profit sectors, including those with first-hand experience dealing with income security issues.

For the executive summary, visit:
For the full report, visit:

Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD)
Funding Matters: Challenges and Opportunities for Funding Innovation in Canada’s Non-profit and Voluntary Sector
This report summarizes the findings of workshops and presentations undertaken through this project, including common themes and innovative
community practice. It also includes an analysis of the different proposals for funding reform raised over the course of the project.
The purpose of this report is to raise the awareness of funding issues in the voluntary sector and engage communities in discussions about how
best to create a more stable/predictable funding environment for nonprofit and voluntary organizations.

Read a copy of the report online at:

How’d They Vote - A Resource for Political Accountability
"How'd They Vote? aims to be a non-partisan website which provides a variety of in-depth information on the operations of the Canadian Parliament,
specifically, how our politicians vote and what they've said. We take the Hansards from the parliament website, and extract information on bills, members of parliament, votes, and speeches."
It also provides links to: * Find your MP * MP Statistics * MP Websites * Voting History * List of Bills.
Check for more information go to the General Federal Government
Links Page at: or go directly to how’d vote website:

"If Welfare Owns You, You Can't do Nothing": Life on Social Assistance in New Brunswick
This research report details the reality of Francophone social assistance recipients in New Brunswick, and the successes and difficulties encountered in implementing the new mechanisms, policies, and programs associated with the 1995 reform of the social assistance system.