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‘Worried’ and ‘betrayed’: 60 per cent had to cancel plans after basic income cancelled

in Community/Health/Local News/Poverty Reduction by
Kyle is in his 30s and he’s married with a new baby. He works 50 hours per week but still qualified for a basic income top-up.

OBIP Chronicles — More than 82 per cent of people who were receiving money through the Ontario Basic Income Pilot said they felt “worried” when they heard it was cancelled and another 76 per cent felt “betrayed.”

More than 1,500 of the 4,000 basic income pilot recipients agreed to help the Basic Income Canada Network and the Ontario Basic Income Network continue working for a basic income. BICN conducted a survey of those people. Well over 400 responses have already come back, representing more than 10 per cent of those receiving basic income in Ontario, allowing us to write this special series. The Lindsay Advocate, working in cooperation with BICN, is pleased to be the media partner highlighting these stories. Names have been changed to protect identities.

Jean, who is married with one child, says she had tried starting her own business with the additional income she was receiving.

“The company has not had enough time to get going…I had felt I had the Ontario Basic Income Program to back me, as I had been told I would,” she says in the survey.

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Save community banks, save the post office: Time for postal banking in Canada

in Business/Columnists/Community/Poverty Reduction/Seniors by
The big banks are getting out of smaller communities. Is it time for postal banking?

One of the first things that the new Dominion of Canada did as a country, way back in April 1868, was create a postal bank. The idea was to create a banking system that everyday Canadians could access easily – and to serve customers that the established banks at the time showed little interest in serving. Postal banking existed in Canada until 1968.

All of the stakeholders of the postal system (Canada Post; Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA) have examined the idea of re-establishing a postal bank. The CUPW and CPAA research relies heavily on the research of consultant John Anderson. His 82-page Why Canada Needs Postal Banking published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives contains some of the most detailed research on the topic.

Make no mistake: this is research funded by CUPW. And let’s face it: CUPW are a bit of a polarizing entity at the moment. So it’s perhaps not the most strategic time to be advocating for an increased role and more responsibilities for Canada Post — and its workers — in our life. The most recent strike no doubt rankled many of us, especially those of us waiting for Christmas gifts ordered online. And we are about to get another postage increase. On Jan. 14, 2019 a stamp bought in bulk will cost 90 cents. An individual stamp will cost us $1.05. That we can — in a time of $7 coffees — mail a letter from anywhere in Canada to anywhere in Canada for a measly $1.05 will be lost on those who use any excuse to bash Canada Post. I mean $1.05! That’s a whole nickel more than a non-existent buck-a-beer! But I digress.

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Quarter of basic income recipients spent time volunteering: Survey

in Community/Poverty Reduction by

OBIP Chronicles — A quarter of the people who were collecting basic income chose to volunteer at least some of their time, once they felt more financially stable, according to a survey about the Ontario Basis Income Pilot.

Proponents of a basic income have long maintained that when people have a financial foundation they are more likely to give of their time to others.

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Housing and homelessness plan review, update and survey

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Provincial legislation has established the City responsible for the administration of housing and homelessness programs and services for both the City of Kawartha Lakes and the County of Haliburton. In this capacity, the City is called the Service Manager. The province requires Service Managers to develop a 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan (“the Plan”). The Plan establishes priorities for housing and homelessness services based on targeted consultations and research.

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More than a third of basic income recipients went back to school: Survey

in Community/Education/Health/Poverty Reduction by
“I am forever grateful I was chosen to be a recipient, and I wish that one day all countries would adopt this method of caring for those who have less income."

OBIP Chronicles – More than 33 per cent of respondents to a survey about the Ontario Basis Income Pilot were going back to school to further their education.

Jenna, a woman in her 40s, says her partner was able to go back to school and their son was able to participate in activities that helps with his motor disorder.

“My partner felt previous problems returning,” after the basic income pilot’s cancellation she says in the survey. “We only received a very small amount of money, comparatively, but it made a huge difference.”

More than 1,500 of the 4,000 basic income pilot recipients agreed to help the Basic Income Canada Network and the Ontario Basic Income Network continue working for a basic income. BICN conducted a survey of those people. Well over 400 responses have already come back, representing more than 10 per cent of those receiving basic income in Ontario, allowing us to write this special series. The Lindsay Advocate, working in cooperation with BICN, is pleased to be the media partner highlighting these stories. Names have been changed to protect identities.

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Meals on Wheels may be the only social interaction some have on Christmas Day

in Community/Health/Poverty Reduction/Seniors by
Art Myers, left, and Len Skelton, right, volunteers for Meals on Wheels.

It’s the time of year when we look ahead just a few weeks to the Christmas season. For many people, it’s a ‘warm and fuzzy’ exercise as they anticipate family gatherings and meals accented with laughter, merriment and reflections of their blessings. It’s not necessarily so for everyone, however.

As much as the holiday season can be heartwarming and positive for some, it also a very ‘blue’ time for others who may be without family and friends. Stress of the holidays can combine with circumstances that trigger sadness and melancholy instead of happiness and positive moods. Not everybody looks forward to the holidays, especially if it means being alone.

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Basic Income at Christmas was making life a bit more worth living

in Community/Health/Local News/Poverty Reduction by

OBIP Chronicles — As we approach the holidays, many people who are receiving basic income are, for the first time in a long time, able to buy gifts for loved ones or can afford to do activities with their kids.

Giving is not only good for the soul, as the saying goes, but also one’s physical and emotional health. The evidence is unassailable.

  • In his book Why Good Things Happen to Good People, Stephen Post, a professor of preventative medicine at Stony Brook University in the U.S., reports that giving to others can enhance health benefits in people who are coping with a chronic illness.
  • In a 2006 study by Rachel Piferi of Johns Hopkins University and Kathleen Lawler of the University of Tennessee, giving was shown to even improve physical health and longevity because it decreases stress. People who provided social support to others had lower blood pressure than those in the study who didn’t, suggesting a direct physiological benefit to the power of giving.
  • Generosity is likely to be rewarded by others eventually, sometimes by the person you chose to give to, and sometimes by someone else. Several studies, including work by sociologists Brent Simpson and Robb Willer, have suggested that these exchanges promote a sense of trust and cooperation that strengthens our ties to others. In turn, these strengthened ties have been shown in research to spark positive social interactions, so imperative to good mental and physical health.

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Large majority of people on basic income reported less anxiety, depression

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“Basic income was the right thing to do for so many of us. I’m not lazy and never have been."

OBIP Chronicles — Nearly 88 per cent of respondents to a survey about the Ontario Basis Income Pilot say the program helped lessen the stress and anxiety that came with not having enough income to meet their needs.

The survey also shows that nearly 73 per cent of respondents felt less depressed than they previously did, prior to being eligible for basic income.

In comments made in the survey, Jennifer remembers she finally felt like she was a part of society, not isolated from it.

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Faithful giving at St. Thomas Aquinas

in Around Town/Community/Education/Poverty Reduction by
Students provided donations geared to the age of the children, as well as items for the family as a whole.

True to its commitment to not only providing education, but also to helping its students live out their faith, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in Lindsay has just wrapped up a campaign that saw the school community providing gifts for families in need.

As part of the school’s ‘Be an Angel’ program, the families were identified by St. Vincent de Paul, the Roman Catholic charity, and assigned to the school for some seasonal kindness.

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Important new survey: The Ontario Basic Income Pilot chronicles

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After basic income, ‘rapid reinstatement’ back to previous program: Province

When the new Ontario government announced it was cancelling the basic income pilot, it threw many recipients into turmoil. It also dimmed hopes for research potential that had captured the interest of people across Canada and around the world.

Participants in the pilot and supporters of basic income are not going quietly away, however.

“Some recipients took the very courageous step of identifying themselves publicly in order for us all to better understand how much basic income was improving lives,” notes John Mills, a member of the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) and the Ontario Basic Income Network (OBIN), who organized media training for some of these individuals in Hamilton.

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