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Protesters hold ‘sit-in’ at MPP’s office, wait for apology from Ford minister

in Poverty Reduction/Provincial by
basic income pilot protesters

Lawyer and social worker Mike Perry led a small but determined group to hold a sit-in at the office of local MPP Laurie Scott Monday morning.

Protesters are demanding an apology from the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, Lisa MacLeod, for the government’s treatment of participants in the basic income pilot program.

After peacefully protesting outside for a while, Perry and a small cadre went inside to tell a staff member of Scott’s that they were there to ask for an apology – and that they were going to wait in her office until they got a response. The surprised staffer quickly retreated, ostensibly to make a phone call.

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Protest in front of Scott’s office to coincide with final basic income payment

in Poverty Reduction/Provincial by
Scott's office when it was vandalized last October.

A protest is being planned outside of local MPP Laurie Scott’s office Monday morning to coincide with the the final payment of the Ontario Basic Income Program.

An event notice being shared around on social media suggests people show up to “protest the early final payment of the basic income and demand an apology from Minister (Lisa) McLeod for how basic income participants have been treated.”

The event notice for the 9:30 am protest says to bring family, friends, and signs and notes that this is a “peaceful, democratic demonstration.”

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Molleson family selected for Bobcaygeon Habitat for Humanity home

in Community/Poverty Reduction by
The Molleson family.

The Molleson family’s future is looking brighter after being selected to own one of two Habitat for Humanity homes being built in Bobcaygeon this spring. Bobcaygeon’s Buffy Molleson and her son and daughter, Ashton (9) and Ocean (8), are Habitat for Humanity’s newest future-homeowners.

To Buffy, it means a way to overcome a previously insurmountable obstacle, and a way to provide a stable home for her children. “I have always wanted to own my own home, I just never had what was needed to get a mortgage,” says Buffy. “I am overwhelmed with appreciation and I am deeply grateful for this chance to better the lives of myself and my children.”

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Family cooking project kicked off in Kirkfield

in Community/Poverty Reduction by

Thanks to funding from the Luke Four Foundation, Kawartha Lakes Food Source (KFLS) is able to pilot a Family Cooking Project in Kirkfield.

The Family Cooking Project has 10 families from Lady Mackenzie Public School in Kirkfield cooking and learning together. Families are provided with three recipes a week along with the accompanying non-perishable and fresh ingredients that they need that week.  The recipes include a dinner, light lunch and a snack or dessert.

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Third food bank opens in Lindsay to try and meet community need

in Around Town/Poverty Reduction by
Food Source's Capacity Boost Coordinator Leah Anderson.

Earlier this week community members and volunteers gathered at Calvary Pentecostal Church to open Lindsay’s third food bank — the Lindsay Community Food Market.

The Lindsay Community Food Market opens today at the church at 125 Victoria Ave. N and will regularly be open Mondays from 9 am to Noon, Thursdays from 4-6 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to Noon. Once registered, clients are assigned market dollars and can drop in during operating hours to shop.

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Chronic homelessness dramatically reduced in Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton

in Community/Municipal/Poverty Reduction by
Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, reduce chronic homelessness dramatically

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness has announced that the City of Kawartha Lakes and the County of Haliburton have marked a 51 per cent reduction in chronic homelessness since August 2018. Currently, Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton are one of the two communities “in the last mile” and are being recognized at the ‘Built for Zero’ press conference in Toronto for showing that they are projected to reach “functional zero” on chronic homelessness within the next 12 months or less.

“Functional zero” means that the City and County will have three or less people experiencing chronic homelessness over three consecutive months. Chronic homelessness is when an individual has been experiencing homelessness for six months within the last year.

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New report shows Ontario basic income pilot was on track for success

in Poverty Reduction by
34% found the basic income supported employment by affording transportation to work, child care or ability to start or expand a business.

The Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) today released a survey report, Signposts to Success, documenting the experiences of recipients in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot (OBIP). It provides compelling indicators of lives remarkably changed for the better. Responses from more than 400 recipients show that the pilot was working — enabling women and men to get and keep jobs, start businesses, pursue education and training, overcome barriers and improve health and well-being for themselves and their families.

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What the Nordic countries can teach us

in Opinion/Poverty Reduction by
Reykjavik, Iceland. Nordic nations boast a high quality of life. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Walking the ancient Camino de Santiago, a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe, I met a fellow pilgrim named Uho, a Finnish man. It was late afternoon in the sunny courtyard of our hostel and I watched Uho plunge his feet into a bucket of cold water to revive his tired muscles.

Wanting to strike up a conversation, and having read about the high level of equality in Finland, I asked Uho if life was good there. He replied that it was, but many Finns only appreciated their situation only when they returned home after travelling outside of Finland.

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More than half of people on basic income behind on bills for two or more months

in Poverty Reduction by

It’s perhaps no surprise that the men and women who were collecting basic income across Lindsay, Thunder Bay, and Hamilton area were in financially challenging circumstances.

Data from the baseline survey shows how difficult their situation actually was. The average share of income spent on shelter was more than 55 per cent, while more than 43 per cent of participants reported they were falling behind in meeting their basic financial obligations.

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The limits of church, the duty of state

in Opinion/Poverty Reduction/Seniors by

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”  — Dom Helder Camara

When we broke the story about many seniors who are falling through the cracks, some spoke up to say this would be a great project for churches to take on. We disagree entirely and are happy to see Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Services begin to fill this gap, thanks to funding from the City for a pilot.

First, let me say that our churches, charities, and non-profits are run by some of the finest people one could ever meet. But it is part of the neoliberal, corporate-first mindset that has normalized the idea of charity to this degree.

The first food bank in Canada opened its doors only in 1981, supposedly a temporary response to a recession. Instead, they have proliferated across Canada as inequality has widened and ordinary Canadians have suffered.

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