In Our Times Tally

● Current household debt as a percentage of income in Canada: 154
● Household debt as a percentage of income in the United States in 2008: 125
● Number of Canadians who use a food bank each month: 750,000
● Percentage increase in food bank usage in Canada since 2008: 31
● Current monthly welfare assistance payment to a single person in Ontario: $599
● Income needed each month for a single person in Ontario to live at the official poverty line: $1,577
● Total amount of wealth spent by the Obama and Romney campaigns during the 2012 Presidential election: $2.6 billion
● Percentage of Canadians who don’t believe that climate change is occurring: 2
● Percentage of Quebec residents who believe that climate change is occurring specifically from human activity: 44
● Percentage of Alberta residents who believe this: 21
● Of the ten warmest summers recorded in U.S. history, number that have occurred since 2000: 7
● Percentage change in the number of newspaper articles written about climate change in the U.S. since 2009: – 41
● Average amount of income unionized women in Canada make more than non-unionized women, per hour: $6.51
● Percentage of non-unionized workers in Canada who have a workplace pension plan: 33
● Percentage of unionized workers in Canada who do: 84
● Chance that a Canadian who has an RRSP makes an annual income of over $100,000: 2 in 3
● Maximum RRSP contribution for 2011: $22,450
● Average annual income of a minimum wage worker in Canada: $19,798
● Number of children throughout the world currently living with HIV: 3.4 million
● Chance that one of them lives in sub-Saharan Africa: 9 in 10
● Percentage increase in global military expenditures during the last ten years: 60
● Rank of Canada as the world’s largest military arms exporters: 12
● Percentage of retired Canadians who are currently in debt: 59
● Chance that a Canadian between the ages of 50 and 60 plans to continue working after the age of 65: 1 in 2
● Percentage of processed foods sold in the United States that contain genetically modified (GM) ingredients: 70
● Percentage of corn grown in the United States that is genetically modified: 90
● Percentage ten years ago: 36
● Percentage change in U.S. corn prices during the last ten years: +322
● Amount spent lobbying in favour of California’s new Proposition 37, which would mandate GM food labeling: $7 million
● Amount spent by the genetically modified food industry lobbying against the proposition: $44 million
● Amount spent by the Monsanto Corporation alone: $8.1 million
● Percentage of total university operating budgets paid for by government spending in Canada thirty years ago: 84
● Percentage today: 58
● Chance that a Canadian is concerned about the “levels of psychological health and safety in their workplace”: 7 in 10
● Chance that a Canadian has felt “helpless” at work during the past month: 1 in 2
● Percentage of workplaces with under 20 employees in Canada that are unionized: 10
● Per capita expenditures on health care in the United States last year: $8,233
● Per capita expenditures on health care in Canada last year: $4,445
● Percentage of Canadians who believe that the federal government should allow the proposed takeover of Nexen Inc.: 12
● Percentage of Canadians who believe that older workers are discriminated against: 74
● Amount that American oil billionaires David and Charles Koch have donated to the Fraser Institute since 2008: $475,500
● Percentage of millionaires in the United States who say they “don’t feel wealthy”: 42

Our Times Tally is written by union communications and media consultant Sean Cain (www.labourmedia.org).

SOURCES: 154, 125 – Globe and Mail (September 2012); 750,000, 31 – Globe and Mail (October 2012); $599 – Simon Black (Toronto Star, October 29, 2012); $1,577 – Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services; $2.6 billion – U.S. Center for Responsive Politics; 2, 44, 21 – Insightrix Research Poll (May and June 2012); 7, – 41 – Nicholas Kristof (New York Times, November 2, 2012); $6.51 – Statistics Canada (2011); 33, 84 – Statistics Canada (Labour Force Survey, 2011); 2 in 3, $22,450, $19,798 – Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (January 2012); 3.4 million, 9 in 10 – UNICEF (September 2012); 60, 12 – Stockholm International Peace Research Institute; 59, 1 in 2 – CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce) Survey, 2012; 70 – Grocery Manufacturers of America; 90, 36, +322 – U.S. Department of Agriculture; $7 million, $44 million, $8.1 million – California Secretary of State; 84, 58 – Progressive Economics Forum (October 2012); 7 in 10, 1 in 2 – Ipsos Poll (October 30, 2012); 10 – Professor David Doorey (York University, July 2012); $8,233, $4,445 – OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Health Data, 2012); 12 – Angus Reid Poll (October 12, 2012); 74 – Ipsos Poll (July 23, 2012); $475,500 – Vancouver Observer (April 2012); 42 – Fidelity Investments Survey (2011).
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