Ganohonyohk (Giving Thanks): Indigenous Prosperity

The Ganohonyohk/Prosperity Research Project explored how seven Indigenous Friendship Centre communities in Ontario understood the concept of prosperity. The guiding research question of “How do urban Indigenous Friendship Centre communities in Ontario view a prosperous/wealthy life?” was used to gauge the meaning of prosperity through a community driven lens.

This strength-based research explores culturally appropriate approaches to urban Indigenous prosperity and considers the role of Friendship Centres in promoting prosperity. It concludes that approaches to Indigenous prosperity need to be context-specific and allow for self-determination in establishing communities’ priorities.



Guaranteed Income Community of Practice resources

The Guaranteed Income Community of Practice (GICP) convenes guaranteed income stakeholders, including policy experts, researchers, community and program leaders, funders, and elected officials to learn and collaborate on guaranteed income pilots, programs and policy.

The GICP website includes resources on:

  • GICP fact sheets and briefs
  • video curriculum
  • program design resources
  • task force reports and agendas
  • program evaluations and income research
  • literature reviews
  • policy, books, articles, films

 



From Relief to Resilience: Reimagining Investments

The events of 2020 revealed unvarnished truths that demand that philanthropic organizations take action to build economic well-being for all. This long-overdue moment emphasizes the critical need for strategies that provide a range of support to women and Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian people, who are struggling due to deep financial disparities. Today’s disparities are built on, and exacerbated by, long-standing inequities created by structural racism, sexism, and classism, which have limited financial security and overall well-being for those affected. This brief responds to the urgency of this moment, reimagining and building on past recommendations to map more just paths to economic resilience moving forward.



Cross Canada Check-up (updated March 2021)

Canada ranks consistently as one of the best places to live in the world and one of the wealthiest. When it comes to looking at the financial health of Canadian households, however, we are often forced to rely on incomplete measures, like income alone, or aggregate national statistics that tell us little about the distribution of financial health and vulnerability in our neighbourhoods, communities or provinces/territories.

The purpose of this report is to examine the financial heath and vulnerability of Canadian households in different provinces and territories using a new composite index of household financial health, the Neighbourhood Financial Health Index or NFHI.

This report is an update of Cross Canada Check-up: Provincial/territorial findings from Canada's Neighbourhood Financial Health Index published in 2018. 



Labour Force Survey, February 2021

February Labour Force Survey (LFS) data reflect labour market conditions during the week of February 14 to 20.

In early February, public health restrictions put in place in late December were eased in many provinces. This allowed for the re-opening of many non-essential businesses, cultural and recreational facilities, and some in-person dining. However, capacity limits and other public health requirements, which varied across jurisdictions, remained in place.

Restrictions were eased to varying degrees in Quebec, Alberta, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia on February 8, although a curfew remained in effect in Quebec. In Ontario, previous requirements were lifted for many regions on February 10 and 15, while the Toronto, Peel, York and North Bay Parry Sound health regions remained under stay-at-home orders through the reference week. Various measures were eased in Manitoba on February 12.

In contrast, Newfoundland and Labrador re-introduced a lockdown on February 12, requiring the widespread closure of non-essential businesses and services.



Labour Force Survey, January 2021

After the December Labour Force Survey (LFS) reference week—December 6 to 12—a number of provinces extended public health measures in response to increasing COVID-19 cases. January LFS data reflect the impact of these new restrictions and provide a portrait of labour market conditions as of the week of January 10 to 16.

In Ontario, restrictions already in place for many regions of southern Ontario—including the closure of non-essential retail businesses—were extended to the rest of the province effective December 26. In Quebec, non-essential retail businesses were closed effective December 25 and a curfew implemented on January 14 further affected the operating hours of some businesses.

As of the January reference week, existing public health measures continued in Alberta and Manitoba, including the closure of in-person dining services, recreation facilities and personal care services, as well as restrictions on retail businesses.

Restrictions were eased between the December and January reference weeks in two provinces. In Prince Edward Island, closures of in-person dining and recreational and cultural facilities were lifted on December 18. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the surrounding area, restrictions on in-person dining were eased on January 4.



Food insecurity and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

Canadians living in households that experienced food insecurity (insecure or inadequate access to food because of financial constraints) during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic were significantly more likely to perceive their mental health as fair or poor and to report moderate or severe anxiety symptoms than Canadians in food-secure households. Approximately one in seven Canadians (14.6%) were estimated to live in a food-insecure household in May 2020.

This study, released in Health Reports, is the first to examine the association between household food insecurity and self-perceived mental health and anxiety among Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study also estimated that 9.3% of Canadians living in food-insecure households reported having recently accessed free food or meals from a community organization.



2019 Financial Literacy Annual Report

The 2019 Financial Literacy Annual Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau highlights the Bureau’s Start Small, Save Up campaign, the Office of Financial Education’s foundational research, in conjunction with the Office of Older Americans, to understand the pathways to financial well-being, the Office of Servicemembers Affairs’ Misadventures in Money Management online training program, the Office of Older Americans’ Managing Someone Else’s Money guides, and the Office of Community Affairs’ Your Money, Your Goals toolkit, along with other direct to consumer tools, community outreach channels, and areas of research.



2020 Financial Literacy Annual Report

The 2020 Financial Literacy Annual Report details the United States' Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection's financial literacy strategy and activities to improve the financial literacy of consumers. Congress specifically charged the Bureau with conducting financial education programs and ensuring consumers receive timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions. Empowering consumers to help themselves, protect their own interests, and choose the financial products and services that best fit their needs is vital to preventing consumer harm and building financial well-being. Overall, this report describes the Bureau’s efforts in a broad range of financial literacy areas relevant to consumers’ financial lives. It highlights our work, including the Bureau's:

  • Response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Pivot to financial resilience
  • Start Small, Save Up campaign
  • Foundational research to understand the pathways to financial well-being
  • Misadventures in Money Management online training program
  • Managing Someone Else’s Money guides
  • Your Money, Your Goals toolkit
  • Paying for College tool
  • Direct to consumer tools, community outreach channels, and areas of research



Retirement Security and Financial Decision-making: Research Brief

A growing number of retirees are not experiencing the expected gradual reduction in spending after they retire. This report summarizes the findings of a Bureau study into whether people who retired between 1992 and 2014 had the income, savings, and/or non-housing assets to maintain the same level of spending for at least five consecutive years after retiring. The study found that about half of people who retired between 1992 and 2014 had income, savings, and/or non-housing assets to maintain the same spending level for five consecutive years after retiring. In addition, the Bureau found that the ability to maintain the same spending level in the first five years in retirement was associated with large spending cuts in later years. The study helps identify ways to protect retirees from overspending their savings in early retirement.



Behavioural insights: key concepts, applications and regulatory considerations

There are numerous factors that influence the decisions that people make. Behavioural insights (BI) recognizes this and, through a combination of psychology, economic and more recently other behavioural research, examines how people are often neither deliberate nor rational in their decisions in the way that traditional models, strategies and policies assume.

Behavioural insights recognize how people actually behave versus traditional economic and market theory of people as rational actors. This report discusses how leading practitioners and regulators around the world are using behavioural insights to address issues in capital markets and improve outcomes for investors and market participants.



Encouraging Retirement Planning through Behavioural Insights

This research report identifies behaviourally informed ways that government, regulators, employers, and financial institutions can encourage retirement planning.

Thirty different initiatives and tactics that could be implemented by a variety of stakeholders to encourage retirement planning are proposed, and interventions are organized around four primary challenges people face in moving from having the intention to create a retirement plan to the action of making a plan: (1) it’s hard to start, (2) it’s easy to put off, (3) it’s easy to get overwhelmed and drop out, and (4) it’s hard to get the right advice.

 

The report also includes the results of a randomized experiment that evaluated several of the approaches proposed in the report. This report was published as part of the Ontario Securities Commission’s strategy and action plan to respond to the needs and priorities of Ontario seniors.



Creating Communities Where We Live – A Good Practices Guide

Creating Communities Where We Live - A Good Practices Guide is a locally-driven community-based researched project conducted in Edmonton, Alberta, by e4c and the University of Alberta Community Service-Learning program. The project seeks to add to the knowledge and practice of community care around supporting people to achieve a safe, secure, and affordable housing experience.

The 10 good practices in this guide describe structures, roles, and relationships which promote community and wellbeing for tenants who live in affordable housing. The practices are informed, in part, by research into tenant and staff experiences at affordable housing complexes run by four Edmonton housing providers.



The poverty premium: a customer perspective

Fair By Design and Turn2Us (in the United Kingdom) commissioned this research to explore recent changes in the poverty premium landscape, to understand if they are having any impact on the cost of premiums, or the number of people who pay them. Importantly, we did this through the lens of the low-income customer in order to hear first-hand how they experience these extra costs; how they see the problems with the current system; how they respond to initiatives and interventions designed to reduce poverty premiums; and the changes they feel would make the most difference to them and their household.

This research report:

  • Describes recent initiatives to reduce the poverty premium and reviews any evidence of what works.
  • Re-calculates the level and types of poverty premiums paid by low-income households in 2019. We focus on high-cost credit use, energy tariffs and insurance (specifically home contents, car and specific item insurance) because our previous work identified these as potentially the most harmful to low-income households (Davies et al, 2016; Davies and Finney, 2017).
  • Looks in detail at the financial difficulties experienced by low-income households, their impact on individuals and families, and the things that prevent low-income households from getting a better deal.
  • Sets out ‘user-led’ solutions and ideas that people living in poverty feel could help to reduce the extra costs they pay.



Consumer debt and household vulnerability among low and moderate- income households in Canada 

Household debt levels in Canada have been rising since the 1990s, which poses increasing risks for Canada’s economy and Canadians’ financial health. However, the debt ‘picture’ for an average low- or moderate-income household is likely to be quite different from higher income households, both in terms of amount of debt and type of debt they take on. 

Join Alex Bucik and Vivian Odufrom Prosper Canada in this one-hour webinar where theywe will present findings from recent Prosper Canada’s recent research on consumer debt in CanadaRoadblock to Recovery: Consumer debt of low- and moderate-income Canadians in the time of COVID-19. Alex and Vivian will explore what types of debt are more common in low- or moderate-income householdsand some of the drivers of this debt load.  

This webinar is intended to equip financial educators and frontline practitioners supporting low-income clients, with recent knowledge on the types of debt Canadians living on low income may be dealing with, and things to know about the pitfalls of different types of debt. 

Click 'Get it' below to access the video link, and scroll down to access handouts, slides, and video timestamps for this webinar.



Read the presentation slides for this webinar.

Handouts for this webinar:
Report: Roadblock to recovery: Consumer debt of low- and moderate-income Canadian households in the time of COVID-19 (Prosper Canada)
Survey results: Canadians with incomes under $40K bearing the financial brunt of COVID-19 (Leger and Prosper Canada)

Time-stamps for the video recording:
4:42 – Agenda and introductions
7:52 – Audience polls
10:55 – Researching consumer debt (Speaker: Alex Bucik)
18:55 – How much does debt cost? (Speaker: Alex Bucik)
23:17 – How do different kinds of debt work? (Speaker: Alex Bucik)
29:17 – What are people using their credit for? (Speaker: Vivian Odu)
40:49 – What help is available to Canadian borrowers? (Speaker: Alex Bucik)
45:22 – Q&A