minister of middle class prosperity

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lead photo by

Justin Trudeau


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