Fearing eviction, walking to save a token, always choosing the cheapest and least nutritious food, telling government agencies the same information over and over again, and worrying that the opportunities enjoyed by other children will be denied to yours. That’s what life is like for too many Torontonians.
It hasn’t always been like this. Back in the ‘70s, one in 10 adults were poor, not one in five; two in three neighbourhoods were middle income, not one in three; the majority of people looking for work qualified for employment insurance, not the minority; income supports assisted us in times of need, not food banks.
It used to be that education led to jobs, jobs led to stability, and social supports allowed us to get back on our feet if a crisis struck. That path is broken. Good jobs are increasingly hard to find. Almost half of Greater Toronto Area workers have temporary, contract, part-time jobs with variable hours, little stability, and no benefits.