The Conference Board keeps churning out reports which should embarrass the Harper government. The Board's latest report ranks Canada 7th out of 17 developed countries in terms of quality of life. It's interesting that, in terms of falling crime rates, we are doing very well -- although, if you believe what the government tells us, it's not well enough.
But what is truly disturbing is the growing rate of income inequality:
In Canada, the gap between rich and poor has widened over the past 15 years, and the board says all age groups have felt the change -- with both child and elderly poverty on the rise.
And in one of the most troubling signs, the working-age poverty rate rose to 11.1 per cent in the late 2000s from 9.4 per cent in the mid-1990s. Since the financial crisis hit in 2008, the overall share of low income Canadians has increased as well -- from 12.4 per cent in 2007 to 13 per cent in 2010, the report found.
Add that a truly disturbing rise in child poverty -- Canada’s child poverty rate is 15.1 per cent, up from 12.8 per cent in the mid 1990's -- and you get a picture of a country in regression.
Perhaps, most notably, the country at the bottom on all measures was the United States, which the Harper government has taken as its model.
We are racing to get to the bottom as fast as we can.