It is next-to-impossible to comprehend the magnitude of world poverty. See if you can visualize the faces of three billion people, many of them hungry children, flashing past your face on a giant TV screen, one at a time. Imagine how long that would take. You will have some idea of the extent of world poverty.
By Nick Fillmore
The 2008 financial and economic collapse that has tens-of-thousands of people angrily demonstrating on Wall Street and in more than 100 American and Canadian cities, has hit already-impoverished underdeveloped countries around the world much harder. Continue reading →
Would Jesus or Charles Dickens notice the difference in how people with disabilities are utilized in Canada today
His name is Muki Baum, he has cerebral palsy, he's deaf and can barely speak. Yet for almost 20 years he's been fundraising outside Holt Renfrew for people with disabilities. His tally to date is a staggering $600,000. VINCE TALOTTA/TORONTO STAR
Muki Baum is a man severely disabled by Cerebral Palsy who has raised $600,000 begging on the streets of Toronto outside posh stores like Holt Renfrew.
Donna Thompson, wife of Canada’s High Commissioner to the UK, argues in The Four Walls of My Freedom that we are not valuing people like Muki Baum.
The Toronto Star reports Mr. Baum raised this money day-after-day for charities like Wheels in Motion and the March of Dimes. He has done it for 20 years.
It’s a wonderful story of triumph over adversity and personal sacrifice.
It’s also the saddest commentary on how little Canadian society values people with disabilities.
Mr. Baum is not alone.
Many Canadians with moderate to severe disabilities are not employed and resort to street begging to survive.
Mr. Baum is not limited in intelligence but his appearance, mobility and verbal limitations make him fit for the lowest level of activity.
If Prime Minister Harper wanted to help Canadians with disabilities he could implement many of the well researched proposals to end poverty and provide disability supports. Complicated schemes like the RDSP that target the ultra rich are of little value.
Recent survey sponsored by the Bank of Montreal shows only 5% of Canadians with disabilities have a tax sheltered savings plan for people with disabilities.
RDSP’s are focused on the upper income parents of children with disabilities who have disposable income available for savings after their own RRSP savings.
Most Canadians with a disabled dependent are spending their money on disability supports and medical costs. 95% of them don’t have any additional money for RDSP savings.
A recent Caledon study found a high percentage of Canadians with disabilities are living in poverty. Anyone living on the $9,000 annual income from CP Disability is not a potential saver. Continue reading →