The new and innovative social program that Ontario is testing in Lindsay and two other Ontario centres – a ‘basic income guarantee’ — is surging in participant numbers.
I live a good life and I try not to take it for granted. Because I have a certain income, I can choose what to buy and where to shop. I can generate options and choose what is best for my family and me. I am fascinated about what makes up a good life and the following passage got me thinking about the link between choice and income:
Lindsay Advocate Publisher Roderick Benns sat down with Ian McKechnie, local historian and assistant manager of the Olde Gaol Museum, to talk about the museum’s plans for an innovative exhibit on the history and heritage of poverty in Lindsay and in the larger Kawartha Lakes. McKechnie is also The Advocate’s local history columnist.
Benns: Tell me a little about the idea for the museum to host an exhibit that has to do with poverty. What is the general idea?
McKechnie: For years, people have understood museums to be places where one goes to see “old stuff” sitting silently in glass showcases. You come in, a guide shows you around, and you leave thinking to yourself, “I have an old stack of newspapers the museum might be interested in,” or, “I have an old upright piano that I’m sure the museum will want to have in its collection.”
While a Lindsay’s woman’s life is being changed for the better with basic income, she wishes the Province would also assign case workers for those who are used to having a human face in their corner.
Jennifer Brooke, a young woman who previously received income from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), made the jump to Lindsay’s basic income pilot last October, getting her first cheque on Nov. 25 – and it’s really making a positive impact in her life.
Lindsay and District Labour Council leader says minimum wage should never have been frozen in the first place.
Nicki Dedes and her family have ensured the Olympia Restaurant has been a downtown fixture in Lindsay for more than 100 years. The owner operator is used to “living on edge” in the restaurant business, given that profit margins in the industry are even lower than they are in retail – about three per cent.
As basic income enrollments continue in Lindsay and two other Ontario cities, one key trend seems to be emerging – the so-called ‘working poor’ are the majority of applicants who are flocking to the Province’s new Ontario pilot.
It has been four short months since The Lindsay Advocate launched and it feels like we already belong here. For that, we owe thanks to all our readers.
Our focus has been – and will continue to be – on the social and economic wellness of Lindsay. With growth, we are open to extending that vision to all of Kawartha Lakes.
Readers have responded to this vision in droves and that tells us we are responding to genuine community need.
The inspiration for The Advocate comes from two places.
Part Two. This year, Statistics Canada has released new data on the social and economic well-being of cities and towns across Canada. This is part two in a series about Lindsay’s 12 lowest income neighbourhood zones and how they are coping in a challenging economic environment. To read Part One go here.
This is a story about a community coming together to fight an all-too-common scourge – the fact that incomes are too low to meet people’s needs.
Call it poverty. Call it scarcity. It doesn’t much matter.
While this gift isn’t from the North Pole, it is still being received with holiday cheer by supporters of local programs that support student nutrition at school. Kawartha Credit Union in Lindsay is being recognized for its recent $3,000 donation to support the work of Food For Kids City of Kawartha Lakes.
As families settle into holiday mode its worth reflecting on the fact that not everyone has a place to live – even in a small town like Lindsay.
Just four days before Christmas, there are 17 people in town – three of them children under 12 – who are homeless. Fortunately, they’ve got A Place Called Home to get them through what is hopefully a temporary situation.