Explaining Poverty in Canada Essay


Poverty in a subdivision of Canadian society remains a major concern, with the state hiting one of the highest poorness rates among the extremely industrialised and wealthiest states ( CBC, 2013 ) . The authorities of Canada, in a command to assist cut down the poorness degree, has been doing attempts to put up broad scope of societal public assistance plans, including cosmopolitan public instruction systems, cosmopolitan medical systems, minimal pay among others ( Conference Board of Canada, 2013 ) .It has, nevertheless, been argued that poorness depends on persons and that the hapless are merely so because they wish. These stairss imply that the authorities structural accommodation of socio-political constructions may non salvage the prevailing state of affairss. Against the background of the controversial beginning of poorness, this paper explores some of the causes of poorness in Canada, with a particular attending of whether the hapless can be so out of their want. The paper argues that even though some personal properties may account for the hapless, poorness is besides a merchandise of structural malfunctions, and nevertheless much person ‘s reform poorness will prevail if corresponding structural accommodations are non made.

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Explaining the Poverty in Canada

Poverty in a developed province like Canada can be explained from assorted theoretical point of views. Some bookmans view poorness as a merchandise of personal failure so that the hapless remain so because of their personal restrictions and traits ( Lusted, 2010 ) . This school of thought root from the impression of meritocracy, which assert that the wagess in the society are given based on virtue. From this position, the rich are so because they poses alone personal properties that the hapless do non hold, and the superior traits or features that attract of social wages with good net incomes and wealth ( Lusted, 2010 ) . Traveling by meritocracy, the hapless Canadians are those who have personal traits that limit them from using the money doing chances available. Such trait could include laziness, hapless attitude or low educational attainment. Following this position the hapless have merely failed to draw out of poorness, non because of any structural or social failure, but basically of the hapless ‘s personal failure. This impression is reflected in the opposition to socio-economic plans that Canadian authorities has sought to set in topographic points such as progressive income revenue enhancement system, lower limit pay Torahs and kid credits. The oppositions of such plans argue that by allowing the hapless benefit the support, at the disbursal of those economically endowed, the authorities is honoring personal failure.

The impression of meritocracy and the position that poorness is an avoidable personal failure should be treated with cautiousness. Indeed, the Canadian society and the remainder of the universe are going extremely competitory. Persons need to hold high educational attainment and equal preparation to procure well-paying occupations. Those who venture into entrepreneurship every bit have to be persevering and advanced to last concern competition and avoid being edged out of the competition. However, it proceeds from an premise that personal attempts and capableness are all needed for wealth creative activity. This is a incorrect and deceptive premise. Entrepreneurs, for case, need non merely enterprising accomplishments but besides capital and at times land to get down up and run their concerns. Accessing capital remains disputing excessively many Canadians, more so for those who have no security and good societal web to assist raise the same ( Raphael, 2011 ) . Similarly, those seeking to be employed could hold high academic makings but the employment chances that match their makings would be really scarce ( Raphael, 2011 ) . This leads to unemployment and underemployment, which increases the poorness degree. There is besides grounds that structural accommodations in Canada have slowed down and cut down the nation’s poorness rate. For case, harmonizing to Conference Board of Canada ( 2013 ) reduced revenue enhancement load on the low income earning Canadians has helped restrict poorness rate by up to 11 per centum. Without this societal alleviation, the Board estimates that Canadian poorness rate would now be standing at 23 per centum instead than the 12 per centum as it stood in 2013.This grounds disapproves the construct that poorness is associated with personal restrictions because the accommodations were on constructions instead than people ‘s traits.

An alternate position is that poorness in Canada is chiefly attributed to identify economic and societal structural weaknesss. Harmonizing to structural theoreticians, poorness in a society is a merchandise of failures at the structural degrees of the society ( Rank, Yoon & A ; Hirschl, 2003 ) . Structures in society refer to societal, economic and political establishments, policies and plans. Ideally, these constructions should be designed in conformity with the demands and fortunes of the society. That manner, there will be structural tantrum between the constructions and restrictions they are designed to rectify or ends they are designed to accomplish. When the systems fail to run into the ends, demands and demands they are meant to turn to, or when the constructions turn out to be deficient a structural failure occurs with inauspicious societal effects ( Rank et al. , 2003 ) .

In the context of Canada, cardinal societal and economic constructions include labour market, authorities policies, societal safety cyberspaces and resource allotment among others. One of the failures that could explicate Canadian poorness is the failure in the labour market to supply equal occupation that would raise equal wage and maintain Canadian households out of the poorness ( Raphael, 2011 ) . Though Canada has comparatively low unemployment degree, the occupation market is comparatively saturated so that a significant population are absorbed in low paying portion clip occupations with fewer benefits ( Rank et al. , 2013 ) . If the labour market would offer full clip, well-paying occupations with benefits. Then the poorness degree would drop. The minimal pay is every bit fixed at a low rate that would barely prolong households outside the poorness degree. Few societal safety cyberspace and devotedness of fewer resources to assisting the hapless are yet farther accounts of Canadian poorness. Evidence by Conference Board of Canada ( 2013 ) gives strong grounds that had Canadian authorities non put a progressive revenue enhancement system with more alleviation to the hapless, the poorness degree would be far much higher than it is today. Without socially-driven revenue enhancement alleviation, the Board estimates that Canadian poorness rate would now be standing at 23 per centum instead than the 12 per centum as it stood in 2013. Similarly, assorted societal plans such as compulsory employment insurance plans and reassign plans from the hapless to the old have lessen the poorness degree grounds in decrease of income inequality by 27 per centum off from what it would presently be.


To reason, while personal failures could explicate stray instances of poorness in Canada, Canadian poorness is chiefly due to structural failures. Personal traits are merely but one of the several determiners of wealth creative activity. However difficult working, enterprising and knowing Canadians may be, they can barely acquire outside the poorness rhythm without equal and proper societal and economic constructions. Some of the societal and economic structural accommodations are already assisting cut down poorness rates significantly, corroborating the position that structural failures would intensify poorness rate.


CBC. ( 2013, February 1 ) . Canada dwindling behind on poorness, fluctuation, says study Canada ranked 7th in 17 developed states.CBC.Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/02/01/business-canada-society-report-card.html.

Conference Board of Canada. ( 2013 ) .Children Poverty. Ottawa, ON: Conference of Canada.

Lusted, M. A. ( 2010 ) .Poverty. Edina, Minn. : ABDO Pub

Rank, M.R. , Yoon, H. , & A ; Hirschl, T.A. ( 2003 ) . American Poverty a Structural Failing. Evidence and Arguments.Journal of Social and Socialology Welfare30( 4 ) : 3–29.

Raphael, D. ( 2011 ) .Poverty in Canada: Deductions of Health & A ; Quality of Life, 2nd edition. Toronto: Canadian Scholars ‘ Press.


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