About Canada Series

About Canada: Poverty

by Jim Silver  

This short and accessible book illustrates that poverty is about more than a shortage of money. At the centre of this analysis are Canada’s neoliberal economic policies and its harmful effect on low income groups, vanishing public services and poor physical health.

Shop direct

Are you a student?

  • October 2014
  • ISBN: 9781552666814
  • 190 pages
  • $20.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB January 2015
  • ISBN: 9781552667200
  • $19.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • Kindle January 2015
  • ISBN: 9781552666999
  • For sale worldwide

Or via your local bookstore
Shop Local

About the book

For a country as wealthy as Canada, poverty is utterly unnecessary. In About Canada: Poverty, Jim Silver illustrates that poverty is about more than a shortage of money: it is complex and multifaceted and can profoundly damage the human spirit. At the centre of this analysis are Canada’s neoliberal economic policies, which have created conditions that make a growing number of people vulnerable to low income, vanishing public services and poor physical health. Silver also highlights the ways in which poverty is intimately connected to colonialism and racial and gender discrimination, and finds that the political and economic policies enacted by the Canadian government serve only a powerful minority, while producing a range of negative outcomes for the rest of us, especially the poor. Silver points out that the costs of poverty — relating to health care, crime, education and unemployment — are higher than the costs of solving poverty, and he lays out an achievable strategy for its dramatic reduction in Canada. When poverty is understood as resulting from political choices, its elimination requires putting pressure on governments to ensure that different choices are made.

Canadian Studies Class Inequality Public Policy

What people are saying

Kathy Mallet, long-time community development activist in Winnipeg

Jim Silver’s impressive new book tells us about the complexity of why people are poor in Canada, a country so rich in resources. Canadians who are poor face many social challenges such as inadequate housing, poor health, racism, opportunities for employment, and low levels of education. Jim Silver’s conclusion is challenging Canadians to demand our governments “to invest in poverty reduction solutions.”

Paul Moist, National President, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

“Jim Silver offers a frank and at times troubling picture of deepening poverty and rising inequality in Canada. His significant contribution is to motivate all citizens to demand available solutions to this national tragedy.”

Grace-Edward Galabuzi, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University

“Comprehensive and often provocative, this book represents a major contribution to our understanding of poverty in Canada. It explains the nature of poverty as variegated and complex, and acknowledges that poverty is gendered and racialized and that it has a spatial dimension.”


Jim Silver

Jim Silver is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Winnipeg who has written extensively on poverty and related issues, including public housing and low-income rental housing, community development and education, adult education, and Indigenous street gangs. He is a founding member of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives–Manitoba and played a key role in the establishment of Merchants Corner, a University of Winnipeg off-campus site in Winnipeg’s low-income and racialized North End.


  • Forms of Poverty
  • Poverty by the Numbers
  • Neoliberalism and its Effects
  • Complex Poverty
  • The Costs of Poverty
  • Solutions that Work


Don’t know your password? We can help you reset it.

Are you a student?

Answer a few questions to get a special discount code only available to students.

Your Cart

There is nothing in your cart. Go find some books!