Canada’s Forgotten Poor? Putting Singles Living in Deep Poverty on the Policy Radar

This report presents the findings of extensive research about employable singles on social assistance undertaken by Toronto Employment and Social Services, in partnership with the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation. Drawing on data from 69,000 singles who were receiving social assistance in Toronto in 2016, and 51 interviews with randomly selected participants, the report highlights these individuals’ characteristics, their complex needs, and the barriers they face in moving off social assistance and into employment. Complementing the quantitative analysis, the interviews provide important insights into the daily realities of participants’ lives and their journeys on and off assistance.



Are Low-Income Savers Still in the Lurch? TFSAs at 10 Years

The introduction of Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) in 2009 transformed how  Canadians save. One of the main reasons for creating TFSAs was to provide a taxassisted savings instrument for low-income Canadians to enable them to improve their retirement income. Now, 10 years later, many low-income savers are still not using TFSAs in ways that would allow them to benefit fully from the government transfer programs intended for them in retirement, such as the Guaranteed Income Supplement. Consequently, intended benefits from TFSAs are going untapped. Improving public education and financial literacy may be part of the solution to this problem, but built-in policy nudges and tax adjustments will be more effective.



Unfinished Business Pension Reform in Canada


Since taking office in the fall of 2015, the Liberal government has made important changes to the publicly administered components of Canada’s retirement income system (RIS). It has restored the age of eligibility for benefits under Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to 65, it has increased the top-up on GIS benefits for single elderly persons, and it has agreed with the provinces to enhance Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits, starting in 2019.
Each of these changes, on its own, contributes to one of the two main objectives of the RIS: to minimize the people’s risk of poverty in old age and to enhance their ability to retain their standard of living as they move from employment to retirement. However, as Bob Baldwin and Richard Shillington show in this study, when examined together, the changes are problematic and incomplete.




Inclusive Employment for Canadians with Disabilities: Toward a New Policy Framework and Agenda