By Doug Draper
We already know that Niagara, Ontario suffers from one of the highest unemployment rates in Canada.
Now – according to a research report released this September 26 by the Niagara Community Observatory at Brock University – we are learning that poverty in Niagara is costing the region’s overall economy $1.38 billion annual in lost productivity, health care, social assistance payments and other expenses. And that, say the report’s authors Doug Hagar and Sophia Papastavrou, is based on conservative estimates.
“The consequences of Poverty in Niagara affect everyone,” concludes the report. “Poverty is not only a serious personal tragedy for those who endure it, it costs all of us in wasted human resources as well as lost tax revenues.”
Says Niagara Community Observatory director David Siegel; “By looking at poverty in Niagara through a new lens – one of creating an investment model to help reduce the costs of the consequences of poverty – we could boost our local economy substantially.”
The eight-page report – a policy brief titled ‘Are The Consequences of Poverty Holding Niagara Back?’ – goes on to outline what can be done to address poverty and its economic impact on the region. The report refers to a number of initiatives underway at the regional government level to address poverty in areas of Niagara most affected by it.
The report also calls for decreasing poverty through such means as community advocacy, providing services for ensuring health care and other needs for people living in poverty.
You can read the whole report by visiting the Niagara Community Observatory’s website at http://www.brocku.ca/nagara-community-observatory . Then share your views on on this subject with Niagara At Large below.