Mind The Gap
StatsCan says inequality “rose sharply” between 1988 and 2007.
An ever-larger share of Canadians are working in below-average wage jobs, CIBC says.
Rising inequality could explain the Rob Ford phenomenon.
Large jumps from rich to poor, or vice versa, are becoming less common.
While the incomes of Canada's wealthiest are increasing, the absolute wealth of our poorest is decreasing. As this gap grows, so too do the differences in people's health risks, care and outcome. The poorer people are in Ontario, the more likely they are to have shorter lifespans, to be overdue for screening tests and to suffer from multiple chronic health conditions.
Inequality limits the potential of children, increasing their risk of poor health, lower earnings and lower skills in adulthood. Affluent nations with wide inequality gaps tend to have fewer children in great health and well-being, so it's not only the most disadvantaged children who suffer the consequences of inequality.
Whether it's the "fact" that women earn 75 cents or 79 cents (or whatever this year's figure is) for every dollar men earn, we are regularly inundated with these catchy, but essentially meaningless, statistics. While it may be true that there is an overall wage gap between men and women, there is no great inequity that needs righting.
In many countries, there is a debate over how much power we give to corporations. And it is boosting populist right-wing parties and left-wing parties that are against trade. In Europe, many of the right-wing parties are opposing free trade agreements. At the same time, from the left of the spectrum, voices such as Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are also targeting free trade.
Unemployment and income inequality are issues that are plaguing both countries; so, policies to ameliorate rather than exacerbate them need to be considered. Further research need to be conducted to understand the impact of the TPP on Canada and the U.S. before the trade agreement goes into effect.
2133 is when the World Economic Forum is predicting global gender parity. And it's back to the future on wages. Only now in 2016 are women earning the amount men did in 2006. Despite the gloomy prediction and statistic, I believe the gender gap can and will be closed within my lifetime.