Sociasl Planning is more than handing out data - analysis and policy recommendations are vital

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 2nd, 2021



Where do the policy initiatives come from?

Where do the fresh ideas come from?

Are we to rely on those with vested interests or can we look to independent bodies that contribute initiatives and do the analysis needed to take what the data offers?

CDH logoWe recently published a piece on a report on the working poor in the Region put out by Community Development Halton (CDH).

Put bluntly it was a regurgitation of information from Statistics Canada Tax-filer data, which was interesting and informative.

So what – the taxpayers in the Region put up at least half of the annual CDH budget for which the public has a right to expect more in the way of quality analysis.

worling poor CDH

The numbers are useful – the analysis is vital and missing.

Why does Burlington have fewer working poor than Milton or Oakville? Is it because it costs so much to rent in Burlington, if rental space can be found?

Is the lower level of working poor people one of the forces that is driving the development of high rise towers? We are talking structures that are well above twenty floors in some cases.

Development in Burlington has tended to be for those who can pay the millions for a view of the lake.

There are reasons for the geographical distribution of the working poor. Knowing what those reasons are would be a useful contribution and part of what social planning is about.

Something is missing from the material coming out of Community Development Halton.

Related news article.

Working poor lower in Burlington

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2 comments to Social Planning is more than handing out data – analysis and policy recommendations are vital

  • perryb

    Dealing with a problem requires data. You go with what you have, but 3 year old data, with covid in the middle of it, may not tell us much about the current situation. CDH has a big job ahead to find out.

  • Andrew Drummond

    It is abundantly clear that more research needs to be done on this subject.

    For one, we also need to be challenging the definition of working poor. Setting the bar at $24k is woefully inadequate and diminishes the number of people in the riding whose pay doesn’t even meet basic needs.

    There was a family posting in social media that they were having trouble finding a 2 bedroom basement apartment anywhere in Burlington given their budget of $1,600. Old 3 bedroom townhomes rent for nearly $3,000/month.

    Relying on outdated tax filings (data from 2018) does not show the hurt in Burlington right now.

    What we need to be talking about is how many people are below a living wage, which in Halton is now more than $21/hour.

    That’s the advocacy we need from public groups like CDH.