Smithers Interior News Editorial

Smithers Interior News Editorial

Addressing income inequality imperative

COVID-19 is exacerbating the wage gap

Income inequality has been growing for decades in Canada.

Now, a new study from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) suggests COVID-19 is dramatically widening the gap.

Since the pandemic started a year ago the country has lost some 640,000 jobs. CIBC economists say it is typical in a recession to see job market performance disproprotionately impact the lowest wage earners the most.

LAST WEEK: Get involved

What they were not expecting to see, however, was the highest wage sector (greater than $41.73 per hour) actually gained 350,000 jobs.

Taking out those high income job gains, we have actually lost close to a million jobs, all in the lowest income sectors.

This should be of grave concern for all Canadians.

We pride ourselves in this country on being caring and compassionate. As such we have built a society with a robust social safety net.

MORE EDITORIAL: Similarity transcends difference

Universal health care, welfare, employment insurance and Canada Pension Plan are just a few examples of the many programs designed to keep us all in some semblance of a reasonable standard of living.

But the greater the income gap becomes, the more the net erodes. The CIBC research also indicates this COVID-induced recession is disproportionately impacting the oldest and youngest among us.

Income inequality is the greatest challenge facing the country today and into the future.

Virtually ever societal ill can in some way be tied to poverty. Poor health outcomes, crime, social unrest, domestic violence, substance abuse, homelessness, just to name a few, are all exacerbated by too much wealth being held by too few people.

It is imperative, both in the short-term and long-term, that we get a handle on this problem, not just for the good of the lowest income earners, but for the good of society as a whole.



editor@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC CDC graphic showing weekly numbers of new cases by local health area.
Local health area records 11 new COVID-19 cases from Feb. 21 to 27

The Northwest has become the COVID hotspot in the province

The Smithers recycling depot was destroyed by fire May 9, 2019. (Thom Barker photo)
Curbside recycling pickup returns to Smithers

The Town will start collecting single stream, loose and clean residential recyclables April 12

Adam's Igloo sustained serious damage when the roof collapsed. (Facebook photo)
Roof collapses on Smithers landmark

Cleanup efforts underway at Adams Igloo and Wildlife Museum

Instructor and master artist Dempsey Bob (right) speaks to the crowd at the Terrace Art Gallery about the importance of cultural art on Feb. 7, 2020. Bob is a recipient of a 2021 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts Artistic Achievement Award. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Northwest artist Dempsey Bob wins national art award

Renowned Tahltan-Tlingit master carver one of eight people to receive Governor General’s Arts Award

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Most Read