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Important new survey: The Ontario Basic Income Pilot chronicles

in Community/Health/Poverty Reduction by
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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Kinmount and Area Food Bank now open; seniors as clients on the rise in province

in Around Town/Community/Local News/Poverty Reduction/Seniors by

The Kinmount and Area Food Bank will officially open to the public Dec. 13, serving 45 families.

According to Kinmount and Area Food Bank Chair Grace MacDonald, it will be open every other Thursday, based on a schedule that alternates with the Coboconk Food Bank and will “serve 45 families who were using either the Coboconk or Minden Food Bank,” says MacDonald.

MacDonald chairs a group of volunteers that have been working over the last year to open the much needed local resource. Finding local sponsors, a location that had a health board-certified kitchen and getting police checks completed were just some of the things that MacDonald and her committee had to accomplish in order to open. In the end the group decided on the Kinmount Baptist Church (4937 Monk Rd., Kinmount.)

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Health Unit: Make a stand against poverty in Kawartha Lakes

in Community/Health/Local News/Poverty Reduction by

In the spirit of the season, local residents are being asked to buy into something that isn’t available at any store or online retailer — support a living wage and other income-based solutions to keep people out of poverty. The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit wants people to take a stand against poverty in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Locally, 16.5 per cent of local children and youth live in poverty.

A recent study also found the ‘living wage’ in Kawartha Lakes is $18.42 per hour – what a family of four with both parents working full-time would need to earn to cover basic expenses in 2018. This amount is more than $4 higher than Ontario’s current minimum wage. 

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New food bank opens in Kinmount

in Around Town/Community/Poverty Reduction by

Kawartha Lakes Food Source (KLFS) is opening a new food bank in Kinmount — the home town of local MPP Laurie Scott.

The new food bank is made possible with funding from Food Banks Canada and Enterprise Holding Foundation. It will be located at the Baptist Church (side entrance) at 4937 Monck Rd., and is scheduled to open December 13. It will operate two Thursdays a month. The new food bank will help to serve the northern region of City of Kawartha Lakes. The Kinmount and Area Food Bank aims to serve clients in their own community, increase their access to food and reduce barriers such as lack of transportation or distance to travel.

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Need work? Most top 10 hard skills could be learned in Kawartha Region

in Business/Community/Education/Poverty Reduction by
About 44.3 per cent of residents in Kawartha Lakes have just their high school diploma or less education.

A new study breaks down 10 “highly sought hard skills” in the Kawartha Lakes region – and Fleming College can teach most of them.

With Kawartha Lakes grappling with a high unemployment rate and low wages, this first-ever report of its kind shows a potential path forward for many who live in this area– if they get the right education and skills.

The report was produced by the Workforce Development Board (WDB) under the Local Employment Planning Council (LEPC) pilot. The report covers employment aspects related to Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County, Peterborough County and Haliburton County. In our last article on this theme we focused on the job and income challenges in Kawartha Lakes.

Since the report also talked about the hard skills that were needed, the Advocate contacted Fleming College to find out how many of these hard skills could be matched up though local post-secondary education opportunities.

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New figures show living wage in Kawartha Lakes is $18.42 per hour

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Local health officials say the gap is “worrisome” at a time when well-paying, full-time jobs continue to decline. Photo: Jerry Holder.

As the PC government puts the brakes on the minimum wage, new figures just released show that a living wage in Kawartha Lakes for a family of four is more than $4 higher than Ontario’s current minimum wage. 

Local health officials say the gap is “worrisome” at a time when well-paying, full-time jobs continue to decline, and part-time employment can be unstable and unpredictable. 

New calculations from the Ontario Living Wage Network (www.ontariolivingwage.ca) show a family of four in Kawartha Lakes – with both parents working full-time – would each have to earn a living wage of $18.42 per hour in order to cover basic expenses in 2018. It is the highest in Ontario after Toronto and Haliburton. Keep Reading

The case for a living wage — a social contract and moral imperative

in Community/Opinion/Poverty Reduction by

This is Living Wage Week, part of a campaign to encourage employers to pay a wage that is significantly higher than the legal minimum. Recently I highlighted the negative impact of inequality. One of the ways to increase equality is through reducing income difference before tax by increasing minimum wages or through a ‘living wage.’

Recently, the provincial government announced that the minimum wage would remain at $14 for the next two years. While expected, this announcement is not good news for the people working at jobs that typically pay a minimum wage; jobs in the retail, food services, and hospitality sectors.

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New study shows major job and income challenges for City of Kawartha Lakes

in Business/Community/Local News/Poverty Reduction by
New study shows major job and income challenges for Kawartha Lakes
The greatest number of job postings available during this time span were low-paying, low-skill jobs, mostly related to sales and service occupations.

Individual income from employment is a full 22 per cent below the provincial average in Kawartha Lakes, according to the first ever Community Labour Market Plan.

As well, the average income in City of Kawartha Lakes was $37,242 in 2016 — an increase of just $369 per year since 2010, despite the rapid rise in costs associated with housing, food, utilities and other inflationary pressures that far outweighs the minor gain.

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Canada Post workers on strike for 24 hours; Union wants return of postal banks

in Around Town/Community/Local News/Poverty Reduction by
Postal banking was something Canada Post did decades earlier, ending the practice in 1968. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Scores of local postal workers walked off the job this morning in Lindsay and Bobcaygeon for 24 hours in a coordinated effort to draw attention to what has become a protracted strike. Calling for better health and safety conditions, gender equality, and a return to postal banking, Cheryl MacMillan, the president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) Local 564, says workers are “overburdened.”

“Parcel delivery has exploded,” she tells the Advocate, with carriers often working 10-12 hour days to finish up their deliveries. While they are paid for this, it is a forced overtime and it’s taking its toll on workers’ health, she says.

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Kawartha Lakes community coming together to create access to fresh fruit

in Around Town/Community/Environment/Poverty Reduction by

A new cooperative project is taking shape in Kawartha Lakes aimed at providing residents with access to fresh and healthy fruit. Under the direction of the Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition Food Security Working Group, apple and pear trees will be planted at Orchard Park in Lindsay. An additional 70 apple trees are being planted at affordable housing sites across Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton.

“This fruit will feed seniors, children and adults in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton who live in poverty. At the same time, it creates habitat and food for wildlife while reducing pollution and the effects of carbon emissions,” commented Liza Hancock, anti-poverty and human rights activist who spearheaded the project.

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