Unlike our prime minister, the numbers don't lie and they're bleak, miserable in fact. Despite squandering the public purse on expensive television advertising campaigns about non-existing employment programmes, blue and white collar Canadians have been taking a pounding on Harper's watch.
The great Canadian dream of a sprawling middle class, awash in home ownership and healthy incomes, has been hit with a jolt of reality — in the form of StatsCan’s National Household Survey.
The newly released numbers from the 2011 census reveal a wide, demographic chasm between the nation’s poor — those whose annual income falls well below the $27,000 median figure for an individual— and the richest in Canada.
Home ownership, at the centre of those decades-old aspirations, has also taken its toll on Canadian households, the NHS shows. While 69 per cent of households in Canada own their home, their mortgage debts are high — sometimes crippling.
More than 25.2 per cent of households are spending more than 30 per cent of their income on shelter, surpassing the standard measure for having an affordable home. That’s up slightly from 24.9 per cent in 2006.
Toronto was the most costly city to maintain a home, at $1,366 a month, while Trois-Rivières, Que., was the cheapest at $697.
"The middle class is under more pressure than ever before. The buying power, the upward mobility, the optimism of the middle class is what has traditionally driven the economy and the democracy,” Liberal MP Ralph Goodale, a former finance minister, said after looking at the NHS numbers Wednesday. “And when the middle class feels under threat, as they clearly do today, that is a very bad omen to the future of the country.”
Canada's blue and white collar workers should be pouring into the streets of Ottawa with pitchforks and torches. How is this happening in our glorious Petro-State? How is the middle class getting hollowed out, gutted, on Stephen Harper's watch?
Read Stiglitz' "The Price of Inequality." Discover that most inequality isn't market driven but the creature of government aiding private interests at the expense of the public they're supposed to serve. Government creates inequality in the guise of grants, subsidies, privileges and tax deferrals - heaping the resulting burden on working stiffs and their dependents.
It's nice to hear a prominent Liberal empathizing with the middle class but that and a buck fifty will get you a coffee at Tim Horton's. What do they intend to do about it? They had better start talking about this and stop neglecting the Canadian workers. Because, so far, all they've done is prattle on with their thumbs up their arses.