This week on NOW and NEXT

We talk to Neil Hetherington, CEO at Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto. Those of you who follow us here at Story Studio Network will know we’ve been working closely with Neil and his team producing The 2030 Project podcast series. The latest instalment was a limited series focussed on the Canada Disability Benefit. The long and the short of it is, the CDB is aimed at lifting a million Canadians, who live with disabilities, out of poverty.

Neil and Talia Bronstein represented the Daily Bread team in Ottawa last week, pressing MPs to commit to fully funding the CDB in the 2024 budget. The “good news”? It sounds like the feds are ready to commit $1 -2 billion to the cause. The “not so good news”? It would take an average of about $1 billion per province and territory to stabilize the lives of those relying on disability benefits across Canada.

The investment of “every billion equals $100 (per person in monthly benefit payments). And so you need to get about $10 to 12 billion.” Neil says “People need about $1 ,000 more than what they’re currently getting. If you are on disability in Ontario, you’re getting $1 ,300 a month. The poverty line is $2 ,300 a month. And so our hope is that it gets to the…thousand or so dollars a month, which is still inadequate, but at least gets to a certain level of being able to hopefully not rely on food banks.”

Also, we connect with Karen L. Cumming – author of the Wealthy Martian. Karen says it’s long past time for us to be including financial literacy in our education curriculum.

And, finally, we are now into year three of the Russian war in Ukraine. We’re joined by Major General (ret) Scott Clancy, an RCAF veteran. General Clancy says all eyes are properly focussed on the growing tensions between NATO nations and Putin’s Russia.

But he tells us, we need to broaden our peripheral political vision in this post-Cold War era.
“The soft underbelly of NATO and the West is not Europe”, says Clancy. “It’s not even American forces deploying to Europe. It’s North America. And if Russia was really going to come after the Americans, they’d come after them here.”

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