People think that Canada's new Minister for Middle Class Prosperity is a joke
If you're a little confused about Prime Minister Trudeau's appointment of a Minister of Middle Class Prosperity to his cabinet yesterday, you're not alone.
The new ministry position — held by Ottawa-Vanier MP Mona Fortier, who also doubles as the associate minister of finance — is one of a few newly-developed or reworded roles Trudeau has added this term.
Pleased to announce the new Minister of Middle Class Prosperity pic.twitter.com/CPCam3tWWG— Kerri Claire (@kerriclaireneil) November 20, 2019
Fortier's new portfolio is in line with Trudeau's mandate to support middle class Canadians and encourage economic growth for the sector, but a lot of residents are wondering who exactly constitutes the middle class these days, and whether they really need the prosperity.
THE IRONY IS PALPABLE.— Stéphane-Robert (@stephanerxbert) November 21, 2019
Some are taking to social media to point out, too, that the role seems like pandering to a specific demographic, while also snubbing all other classes of Canadians. "Imagine hating poor people so much," one user tweeted.
This sounds like something that belongs in the novel Animal Farm...I honestly thought it was a joke the first time I read it!— Pat 🇨🇦🌊 (@walkerpj1) November 21, 2019
Though many would like to one day consider themselves middle class, the realities of high costs of living and massive wealth disparity mean that the concept of the middle class isn't one that a lot of Canadians — especially young ones — will ever be personally familiar with.
There should be a separate Minister for those trying to join the middle class— bobfrombob (@bobfrombob) November 20, 2019
If one relies on the traditional idea of the middle class as not too rich and not too poor — people able to own, perhaps, a house and a car, and who can generally live comfortably — then in 2019, the moniker is definitely out of reach for many Canadians, 9.5 per cent of which still live under the poverty line.
The Bureau of Let Me Speak to Your Manager under the Minstry of Small Business Tyrant Promotion— Mayor Pete’s memorization algorithm (@ScottCMcKnight) November 20, 2019
Technically, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development defines a "middle class" household as one with an income that is 75-200 per cent of the median income in its country of residence.
Based on StatsCan's most recent income survey from 2017, the median income across the country after taxes is $59,800 per household, or $87,600 for non-senior families.
If private pensions and investment income are also taken into account, and senior families excluded, this number rises to $92,400.
Is this a joke actually tho? I'm watching the cabinet unveiling (late), but haven't gotten to the actual unveling yet. That's a fucking bewildering spoiler actually. Who is the middle class even!?— Metro Bunny🚇🐇 (@MetroBunnyMtl) November 21, 2019
This means households in the country that accrue somewhere between $44,850 and $184,800 per year, or between $44,850 and $119,600 if considering solely job income among all families, can potentially be considered middle class.
What does this say about the working class or “lower class”? They don’t get a minister to help them prosper?— Tatiana Sutherland (@tajaunzems) November 20, 2019
Those who fall on the lower end of the wide range above, or below it completely, are now left wondering where their minister is, and how a minister championing the middle class is going to help or hinder them.
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