Poverty is an issue which society faces each day. It is a constant struggle that cannot be ignored. Defeating poverty would take great efforts and contributions from all. Canada and the third world are examples of countries which are experiencing poverty, yet each differ in different ways. Once seeing the multitudes of condominiums, expensive restaurants, and streets jammed with cars, one would never see Canada as a place suffering from hunger, lack of food or clothing. Yet poverty exists. Poverty in Canada cannot be compared to that of a 3rd world country, since many of the poor have access to transportation and television. What people lack is ability to see the inadequate nutrition overcrowded housing and chronic unemployment. "A visitor to Canada from Africa or Asia, if told if told that there is a widespread poverty in this country, might find the statement hard to credit."(Schlesinger 89) In most places, the poor are thought to be isolated, away from shopping zones as well as residential areas. They are seen as a crowded cluster, living in shantytowns drinking a bottle of whisky, uselessly lying there in search for a job, or some method of employment. This is just one of the stereotypes given to the poor person, we must first define poverty. Individuals and families whose financial resources and/or other resources (including educational and occupational skills, the condition of the environment at home and at work, and material possessions) fall seriously below those commanded by the average person or family in society, are in poverty. (Schlesinger 105) The "poverty line", is a method used by the government to determine the number of poor people living in a certain area. It is based on an individual's income. Anyone below the annual level of income is classified as being poor. Who Are Our Poor? The Special Senate Committee on Poverty, using a poverty line, calculated that "approximately five million Canadians live in poverty" (NCW 10) Studies show various groups in society tend to be poorer in comparison to others. Over 1 million Canadians who work are poor. The working poor are usually employed in service sales, farming, fishing and clerical jobs characterized by low pay, limited opportunities for advancement, and instability. It is said "1 person in every eight who lives alone is member of the working poor." (NCW 6) The second highest group is individuals that live in poverty are the elderly. 500 000 elderly people in Canada are poor. Many of them, live on fixed amounts from pension. They rely on transfer payments from the government as their main source of income. Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplements and Spouse Allowances are the basic public pensions for elderly persons, but they still find themselves 15% below they poverty line. The third group of poor people living in poverty is the unemployed. There are approximately 480 000 unemployed people in Canada. Unemployment insurance provides benefits for those who have been employed and contributed and then lost their jobs; it cannot help the disabled elderly or those tied down by parental responsibilities that are not part of the labor force. Disabled persons make up the next largest category of poor people. There are 460 000 disabled people presently living in poverty. It is very difficult for a disabled person to find work since they are constantly prone to discrimination. Conditions will not change until the attitudes of others change. Single-parent families are the next in line to face the struggles set down by poverty. Over 150 000 single parent families are poor. "About on in every four marriages end in divorce." (Schlesinger 56) These parents cannot afford the expenses for daycare facilities as well as lunchtime and after school supervision for their child therefore, and required staying home. They can receive up to $500 a month in Family Benefits and Baby Bonus. Finally, the last category or group, which live in poverty, is the...
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