The hits keep comin’ – NB style

Wow, did this make the news? I didn’t see it but I don’t read/listen to everything.

Statistics Canada published a study last week on the amount of people living below the low income cutoff (otherwise known as the poverty line). Here’s their definition:

Statistics Canada’s low-income rate measures the percentage of persons who live in a family with an income below the low-income cutoff (LICO). The LICO is a statistical measure of the income thresholds below which Canadians likely devote a larger share of income than average to the necessities of food, shelter and clothing.

According to the good folks at Statistics Canada, the percentage of full-time workers aged 16 to 64 years old that have an income below the low-income cutoff line has stayed about the same from 1999 to 2004 – at 14.4% of the total. In all provinces but two the percentage of ‘working poor’ has remained about the same or slightly higher/lower.

Can you guess the two?

Come on. You should know by now.

New Brunswick’s percentage of full-time workers aged 16 to 64 years old that have an income below the low-income cutoff line has increased from 24.4% in 1999 to 27.5% in 2004. Only Newfoundland recorded a faster rate of increase.

Two quick points:

1) Why? It may have to do with the shedding of high paying jobs in rural NB for retail sector jobs but that’s a hunch.

2) It almost makes you want to be a socialist. It just seems not right to have over one out of four New Brunswickers who have made the effort to work full time – to have to live below the povertly line. Cripes, it’s less than 15% in Quebec.

Why don’t we ask LeBreton or Al Hogan about it so we can get cheered up.

When in doubt, I revert back to what I know. Bring in more multinational firms which will lead to upward pressure on wages which might alleviate this stuff somewhat.

It is now abundantly clear why Bernard Lord would added this to his Five in Five (see below). He probably had advance warning that these numbers were coming out. Of course, given the lack of media coverage, he needn’t have worried.

It’s actually kind of a neat trick. The second fastest increase in poverty under the Prosperity Plan turns into the fastest decrease in poverty under the Five in Five.

Five in Five Initiative

Goal 1 – The smart province — the highest increase in workers with post-secondary education in Canada.

Goal 2 – The investment province — the lowest tax burden east of Alberta, and biggest decrease in the unemployment rate in Canada.

Goal 3 – The wellness province — the biggest increase in physical fitness participation of any province in Canada.

Goal 4 – The clean province — the greatest reduction in air and water pollution in Canada.

Goal 5 – The inclusive province — the biggest reduction of poverty rate in Canada.