May 11th - 14th, 2007 - News

In search of a poverty strategy
Canada needs a game plan to tackle poverty, a Toronto forum heard last night. For too long, Ottawa and Queen's Park have been playing at the edges of poverty, instead of investing in affordable housing, child care and education, said former Ontario premier Bob Rae. "We now have to restore and renew our commitment to help people in difficult times," said Rae, one of four panellists at the Toronto Star-sponsored forum on the growing income gap.

See also: Look beyond the gap: Analyst
Rich people don't cause poor people. In essence, that's the view of the fiscally-conservative C.D. Howe Institute and its research director, Finn Poschmann. When asked about statistics that suggest the fortunes of low-income Canadian families aren't rising as fast as those of rich families at a time when the national economy is booming, Poschmann was dismissive. "If you start fussing over what's happening at the high end of the income scale and say, `look, the rich are doing very well, but the poor aren't,' that could lead you to a distraction," he said in an interview.

Guelph Hosts National Corporate Social Responsibility Forum
On May 15-17, 125 representatives from Canada's co-operatives and credit unions will gather in Guelph, Ontario for a forum on the practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Also referred to as sustainability or corporate responsibility, CSR is a philosophy of business that promotes environmental stewardship and support for the social

Canada's New Government Supports Project for Low-Income Women in Saint John
The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, today announced funding of $200,000 to the Saint John chapter of the Urban Core Support Network. This funding will support the Neighbourhood Leadership Training Program which will improve the economic security of 100 low-income women.

Canada's new government refocuses Urban Aboriginal Strategy to promote job training and entrepreneurship
The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, today announced a refocused Urban Aboriginal Strategy that concentrates on job training and entrepreneurship for Aboriginal people living in urban areas.

Councillors to consider adopting humanitarian purchasing policy
Ottawa's municipal goods and supplies will be sweatshop-free and fair-trade-friendly if council approves a proposed ethical purchasing program. The program will be debated by councillors on the corporate services and economic development committee next week. If it passes, city council will vote on it later this month. Last May, council asked staff to work with humanitarian groups to create a policy. The report - developed by city staff, the Ottawa No Sweat Coalition and the Ottawa and District Labour Council - aims to ensure city apparel, clothing and agricultural products meet standards of international human rights.

Desjardins Q1 profit surges 42.5% to $265 million as revenues increase
Desjardins Group, Canada's largest co-operative financial group, said Monday its net profit surged 42.5 per cent in the first quarter to $265 million. Higher revenues at its personal and commercial segment, along with tighter operating expense controls, were largely responsible for the gain, the Quebec-based firm reported. A year earlier, Desjardins had $186 million in "surplus earnings" before patronage dividends to caisse member-owners. The provision for patronage dividends in the quarter ended March 31 increased 23.3 per cent to $111 million.

Farmers' markets drawing crowds
Crowd sizes are growing and piles of fresh lettuce and tomatoes are shrinking at farmers markets across the province, according to a group that co-ordinates the events. Record crowds are showing up at the bigger markets on weekends in Halifax, Sydney and Wolfville — even at smaller rural markets — and more communities are opening markets, said Don Black, co-ordinator of the Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia Cooperative.