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EDITORIAL: In search of long-term solutions to poverty

There are many gift drives and food drives in the period leading up to the festive season…
Scott Stanfield photo

Canadians are feeling increased financial pressures this year.

According to data from Statistics Canada, one in three Canadians live in a household experiencing financial difficulties, and close to one in 10 are in a household facing extreme difficulties in meeting financial needs.

The financial challenges become more significant for those living in rented accommodations, for single-parent families and for those who are recent immigrants and those who are Indigenous or members of a visible minority.

While the rate of inflation has eased since a year ago, costs of essential goods and services, including food and shelter, have increased more than wage growth.

The cost pressures would be significant at any time, but they become more severe during the colder months. In addition, the festive season in late December is a little more than a month away. That is a time when extra costs are incurred for gift-giving and celebrations.

There are many gift drives and food drives in the period leading up to the festive season. These initiatives can help ease some of the pressures for those who are facing financial challenges at this time of the year.

Still, hardships are not limited to this time of the year. In every community, there are people who rely on food banks year-round, and there are individuals and families struggling to meet their expenses.

Addressing this ongoing issue will require some difficult discussions. It will include examining the shortage of housing, discussing rent rates, addressing measures to control or slow inflation and considering what constitutes a living wage.

There are no easy answers here. There is no quick and obvious solution to addressing the financial challenges faced by many people in Canada.

During this time of year, it is important for those who are able to give generously to help those who are in need. Those messages will be repeated in the coming days and weeks.

At the same time, long-term solutions must be examined to provide lasting relief to those experiencing financial hardships.

— Black Press