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Mike Perry

Perry says focus now on class action lawsuit in wake of basic income cancellation

in Poverty Reduction by
Mike Perry, left, with two of the four applicants, Tracey Mechefske and Dana Bowman.

In light of an Ontario court decision that states it has no authority to force the PC government to continue with basic income, the focus now turns to the class action lawsuit.

This, according to Mike Perry, the Lindsay-based lawyer and social worker who took on this case pro bono.

“While the applicants are understandably disappointed with today’s decision, they respect the court and the legal process and have asked me to thank the court for its consideration of their application,” Perry tells the Advocate.

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Court has ‘no authority’ to quash PC decision to cancel basic income; ruling has ‘no effect’ on possible class action lawsuit

in Poverty Reduction by
Class action lawsuit applicants Tracey Mechefske, Dana Bowman, Lawyer Mike Perry, Lindsay Advocate Publisher Roderick Benns, when the lawsuit was first announced.

It was not the kind of Valentine’s Day gift supporters of basic income were looking for.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice Divisional Court says the court has no authority to force the PC government to continue funding the Ontario Basic Income Pilot program.

In their decision Justices Thorburn, Reid, and Myers write, that “the pilot program is a government funding decision…this court has no power to review the considerations which motivate a cabinet policy decision.”

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Basic income judicial review: A view from the gallery

in Community/Health/Local News/Poverty Reduction by

Monday, January 28. Outside it’s bitterly cold, winds swirl, and an Alberta Clipper is expected to bring up to 20 cm of snow. In Osgoode Hall’s courtroom number three all is calm and well-ordered. Tiers of dark wood benches line the room below a vaulted ceiling and an elaborate chandelier.

But there’s an air of expectancy: Basic Income is having its long-awaited day in court, and not just any court, but the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The applicants are Dana Bowman, Grace Marie Doyle Hillion, Susan Lindsay, and Tracey Mechefske. Dana and Grace are in the gallery. They are being represented by Mike Perry, a qualified but not practicing lawyer. He’s dressed in robes borrowed from Lindsay lawyer Jason Ward. Mike is acting pro bono. All the other costs of bringing a case — filing fees, photocopying and printing, administrative support, expert fees and insurance — have been covered through a GoFundMe campaign launched last August. (As the hearing begins the amount raised sits at $9,770; the next day it will reach its $10,000 target, a total of 117 having made contributions).

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Court reserves judgment on basic income case

in Community/Poverty Reduction by
Tracey Mechefske, Dana Bowman, plaintiffs; lawyer and social worker Mike Perry; Advocate publisher Roderick Benns.

An Ontario Court has reserved judgment on the high profile basic income case which was argued by Kawartha Lakes lawyer and social worker Mike Perry in a Toronto court room today.

However, the court also recognized this was a time sensitive matter, given that the program will end as of March, 2019.

Many believe this will be a matter of days, not weeks, before the court rules.

The challenge heard today was the application for the court to overturn the decision to cancel the Ontario Basic Income Pilot. A pending class action lawsuit will only be heard if the court decides not to overturn the Province’s decision and the pilot doesn’t continue.

If needed, the court will later hear a class action lawsuit for damages over breach of contract for the new Ontario government cancelling the basic income pilot project prematurely.

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Local Family Health Team saves Urgent Care more than $700,000

in Community/Health by

A costing by the City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team has revealed that the team has saved the health care system more than $700,000 since 2014 through its emergency room and after hours clinic diversion programs.

Under these programs, the team’s health care professionals assess whether their care and treatment of the patient in the family health team offices resulted in the patient not having to go to the emergency department or attend local after hours clinics.

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Legal Action on Basic Income ongoing, says lawyer Mike Perry

in Around Town/Community/Education/Health/Poverty Reduction by
Tracey Mechefske, Dana Bowman, Lawyer Mike Perry, Lindsay Advocate Publisher Roderick Benns, when the lawsuit was first announced. Photo: Trevor Hutchinson.

The legal action against the Ontario government for cancelling the basic income pilot project is continuing on track, according to Lindsay lawyer Mike Perry.

The legal action is proceeding on two fronts. The first is a request to the court to overturn the Minister’s decision to cancel the pilot project. Originally scheduled to be heard in October, the matter will now be heard in Ontario Superior Court (Divisional Court) in late January, 2019.

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Rural transportation as social right and economic investment

in Community/Opinion by
Rural transportation as social right and economic investment

“Need a lift?” Anyone living – or growing up – in the Kawartha Lakes knows this question well. In fact, it is part of our daily life and local culture.

But transportation is most often seen as only a “big city” service. Nothing could be further from the truth. Public transportation actually means more in our rural communities.

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Fleming president talks skills training, better connections with employers

in Around Town/Business/Community by
Fleming president talks skills training, better connections with employers
From left to right: Scott Robertson, Mike Perry, Tony Tilly, Marlene Morrison Nicholls, Peter Thomas.

Tony Tilly, president of Fleming College, was recently the guest speaker at a round table discussion hosted by the Lindsay and District Chamber of Commerce.

Tilly made a short presentation on how Fleming – and Frost Campus in particular – has been playing a key role in specialized education the Lindsay area, before taking questions from community members.

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More rural transportation options coming in Kawartha Lakes

in Around Town/Community by
More rural transportation options coming in Kawartha Lakes
Amanda Drake (left), vice-president of Fleming College Students’ Association and Mike Perry (right), co-chair of the Transportation Working Group, hold the new three-point plan. With Marina Hodson, (left), chair of the local Poverty Reduction Roundtable, Jessica Knot (left), coordinator of the Roundtable, and local residents.

Kawartha Lakes has come a big step closer to having accessible, reliable and affordable transportation.

Gathered at the Omemee Legion, the Transportation Working Group of the Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton Poverty Reduction Roundtable unveiled a plan to bring expanded transportation throughout local communities.

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Basic income panel talks about hope, human rights, and the choice we make to allow poverty

in Opinion/Poverty Reduction by
Basic income panel talks about hope, human rights, and the choice we make to allow poverty
L to R: Andrew Wallen, KLCFDC, Tim Ellis, Bert Lauwers, Rob Rainer, Josephine Grey, Chief John Hagarty.

While a panel discussion about basic income was happening in Lindsay last Friday, there was a three-hour line-up to sign up for basic income at the Lindsay Public Library – a line that spilled out onto the street.

The parallel events show there is great community support for the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, certainly from an growing number of ‘average citizens’ who are increasingly made up of the so-called working poor. These working poor are tired of a corporatist world that demands austerity from the people and yet retention of benefits for a privileged minority – and their numbers are rightly growing.

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