Born in Montreal and educated at McGill University, Jamie Swift has been a writer-journalist for more than twenty years. Specializing in in–depth analyses of social, political and economic issues, he is the author of numerous books, including Hydro: The Decline and Fall of Ontario’s Electric EmpireOdd Man Out: The Life and Times of Eric Kierans, and Wheel of Fortune: Work and Life in the Age of Falling Expectations.

In his newest release, Persistent Poverty: Voices From the Margins (co-written with Brice Balmer and Mira Dineen) Jamie gives voice to our most vulnerable neighbours–people marginalized by joblessness, disability, poverty level wages, and mental illness.

This collection of essays explores how the least fortunate people in one of the world’s richest places are faring. In early 2010, over two hundred civic and faith leaders fanned out into thirty Ontario communities. Their social audit exposes a tattered social assistance system run primarily by volunteers who are desperately struggling to fill the gaps. There can be no papering over the savage inequalities and suffering exposed in this compelling look at life from the margins.

The recipient of a Michener Fellowship for Public Service Journalism, Jamie lives in Kingston, where he works on social justice issues for the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul.

Photo Credit: Phillip Street