In this paper, it will be arguing how Canada hasn’t begun to fix the poverty situation that many Canadians deal with in a daily bases. Structural Functionalism Theory, Conflict Theory and the Feminist Perspective are going to be used in for this argument in this paper. This will give reader a better understanding and depth of the country’s Poverty issues that are currently taken place. It describes a brief history of poverty to today’s current issues in our communities, and what are some of the solutions we could do to fix poverty in Canada. This issue of poverty is very important to the writer, as she went through it with her family many years ago.
Poverty Effect in Canada
Canada is known for helping other countries when in need. However in reality Canada neglects to fix their own dilemmas, such as the poverty issues that many Canadians are facing today. Although it is a good deed helping other people in need across the world, then again Canada should focus on finding solutions, and planning how to help those in need in our homeland first. It is like the saying you cannot help anyone unless you help yourself out first. Canada’s main focuses should be the population that is affected by poverty, what exactly is causing this situation and how could the fix the one of big problems Canadians are dealing with.
Since the time of the great depression poverty had gradually increased and with families growing, Canada began to look at their Welfare State and implemented social programs the citizen for a better quality of life. By the 1960’s Jenny Podoluk measurement technique was use by Statistics Canada to estimate the number of Canadians living in poverty. Results showed by 1961 approximately by 25% were living in poverty and by the 1969 population was 18% (Statistics Canada). Although there had been improvements by the 1980’s, it slowly grew from bad to worse in the 1990’s. Due to the growth of unreliable job and the cuts of social programs , the poverty rate were much higher and long –term poverty for many vulnerable groups such as; visible minorities, immigrants, newcomers, aboriginals, and people with disabilities. Canada currently does not have any official definition of poverty, not even proper steps or precautions are being put in place to prevent or support people in poverty.
Canada has no official measure of poverty because Statistics Canada states, that unless politicians express social concern for the issues at hand, nothing will be done in order to solve and deal with poverty in Canada. In 2005 child and family poverty rate were much higher than in 1989. It was estimated about 3.4 million of the population live in poverty. In recent years Canada falls in 7th place out of 17 countries rating for poverty and inequality, graded a “B”, and given a good job but Canada is still not good enough (Conference Board, 2013). Since 1989 the House of Commons decided to resolve and eliminate the Children poverty rate by the year 2000. However despite the decision to eliminate Child poverty, no actual plan was design or progress reports were done. Throughout this period, rates of poverty both decrease and increase, currently the rates are still considered to be high, although Canada is one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
When analyzing through a conflict perspective theory, poverty can be seen and understood, by the following example; a worker who is exploited by the employer of a big company, by when the worker does all the work and effort the Bourgeoisie profits and benefits from the labour of the proletariat (Mooney, Holmes, Knox, Schacht, 333). This is one of the many theories that can be used in the Canadian of Poverty. Other view on how society perceives poverty is Structural Functionalist Perspective Theory. This view describes poverty as positive aspects for the dominant groups of society. Poor people are often viewed as the lazy, unskilled, and a burden to society. They are often stuck doing the dirty, dangerous, and difficult work, the other individuals will refuse to do. Many have debated this theory to be that the dominant group exploits with power and inequality, towards those in poverty. Another view of poverty is that is gender bias, that women are mostly like to live in poverty then men are, for this approach we going to discuss the Feminist Perspective. In 2006, 54 % of women lived in poverty ages 18 and over (NAPO 2006).
This perspective uses the gender-based analysis, which works to understand the structures that contribute to women in poverty. Another interesting factor about this perspective is that it using the narrative analysis which focuses on women’s experiences with a symbolic approach which is put into data interpretation. These are few of the many issues of poverty we face today in our communities; food banks are crisis because of the high in demand of people in need. Housing is another important factor as millions of people worry about being able to make rent payments, and finding affordable living places where they do not have to worry about living paycheck to paycheck. A study was conducted from t McMaster University in 2010 for the City of Hamilton, Ontario it showed that people living in poverty are most likely to die rather than those who are not living in poverty. It showed a 21 year difference of life expectancy, which were outrages and unacceptable facts that we must be aware of, in order to make a change.
What we as a community could do to help those dealing with poverty crisis. First we must create awareness through education, media (i.e.; radio, internet, television), government, fundraiser, and through our communities. By doing so we increase the knowledge, of society, to help eliminate poverty in Canada, this country is known for its strong, free, and sustainable living. However not many know about Canada poverty crisis. We must also conduct research, to study in depth the cause and effects of poverty. Only then can we implement programs, or support gear towards the individuals in need. Other factor to consider and should be changed is to increase the minimum wage for those in need of support and basic necessities. By creating more employment and benefits is another way government officials can assist these individuals. In addition it is important to provide skill workshops and employment training for people in dealing with difficulties in obtaining employment.
Things must be done In order to help those in poverty, to develop a better living for all in the present and for the future generations to come. Furthermore through history as discussed above we seen and understood that not all social programs, which the government had put in place to deal with this issue, have not worked out. Due to the lack of commitment and study of this subject, government continues to disregard and not care about the dilemmas of poverty. Government officials must pay attention to people and focus on how they could help. In order to do so a good starting point would be to listen to what the people need, and their challenges they are dealing with. As a community everyone should make an ideal and attainable goal, to reduced or end poverty. Imagine if we were to eliminate poverty, what would the effects on crime, health problems, drug abuse, family problems, prejudice and racism and international conflict would be like. Picture everyone living in peace and harmony wouldn’t that be a dream or goal worth wanting. If Canadian government continues to neglect the issue at hand, without support and commitment, poverty will not only become a bigger devastating problem, and it will endure to mass destruction of our country.
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