Personal stories on being poor in Canada

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There are those who have always been poor, others who are new to being poor and still more who are poor by mistake. Today, we introduce you to three people: Laura in Hamilton, Brian in Edmonton and Mavis on Vancouver Island who share their personal stories on what it is like being poor in Canada.

Part One of The Current


It's Friday, December 2nd.

Estimates suggest that poverty in Canada costs about 24-Billion-dollars a year.

Wow. Imagine how many jails you could build with that kind of cash.

This is The Current.

Personal stories on being poor in Canada

This morning we traveled across the country to ask what is it like being poor in Canada.

Meet Mavis Underwood: She's a social worker in Victoria. But she came back to the reserve when the job started taking a toll on her physically. Plus, she wanted to be at home to take care of her aging mom and her brothers struggling with addiction. She takes care of others in the community too. Mavis took Lorna up to the church on the reserve where every Wednesday afternoon they hand out loaves of bread.

Meet Brian in Edmonton: For the past three years, Brian has lived at Operation Friendship Seniors Society, sharing living space with three other men who are down on their luck.  Brian receives help from an Alberta government program called Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped, commonly known as AISH. Alcohol and depression are still daily battles for Brian, but he's brushed up his resume and is knocking on doors looking for work, not easy at 60 years old, when you haven't held a permanent job for 5 years. 

Meet Laura Cattari: Laura lives in Hamilton. She suffers from fibromyalgia, which causes her chronic pain, fatigue and makes it difficult to get around. Laura is currently a member of The Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction Steering Committee

Thanks to Laura in Hamilton, Brian in Edmonton and Mavis on Vancouver Island for sharing their stories with us.

If you can relate to what you've just heard, we'd love to hear your stories. You can contact us by going to