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poverty

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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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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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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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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Basic income was helping with crushing cost of housing: Survey

in Community/Poverty Reduction by
More than 58 per cent of people collecting basic income were trying to change their housing situation, according to a new survey.

OBIP Chronicles — Finding affordable housing in Ontario hasn’t been easy for decades. Finding it in Kawartha Lakes has been even more difficult of late, with the 2018 figures showing a 1.5 per cent vacancy rate, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) 2018 fall report. A healthy vacancy rate is more like three per cent.

For people collecting basic income in Lindsay, Hamilton area, and Thunder Bay area, the pressures they were facing with housing costs were lessened with the new benefit they were receiving, although all of that is ending in March with the cancellation of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot.

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Poverty to hope and back again: Study reveals why basic income held such promise

in Community/Poverty Reduction by
Many participants were at extreme risk of homelessness before they enrolled in the Ontario pilot.

Study results from the Ontario Basic Income Pilot’s baseline survey have now been released, revealing the stories of participants who were hoping to break the cycle of poverty, find better jobs and opportunities, stabilize their housing, and improve their health and well-being.

The baseline survey was conducted by an arms-length, independent evaluation team led by St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Under the initial agreement signed by enrollees, the descriptive statistics were to be made available to pilot participants who requested the survey results (no personal information was included).

When entering the basic income pilot, a large majority (81 per cent of participants) were in moderate or severe psychological distress. Inadequate access to health care was also identified by many: 40 per cent had unmet health care needs (most often because of costs, such as for medication) and less than half of participants had visited a dentist in the year prior to joining the basic income pilot. Chronic pain, mental health illness and mobility challenges were some of the disabilities basic income enrollees listed.

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Progressive police chief sees strong community partnerships as key

in Community/Local News/Poverty Reduction/Seniors by
Kawartha Lakes Police Service Chief Mark Mitchell. Photo: Erin Smith.

Back in high school in Streetsville in the mid 1980s, Mark Mitchell’s friend wanted to fill out an application to join the local police force in Peel Region. The only thing was, his friend didn’t have a car. Fortunately, Mitchell had his parents’ car and got him there to fill out the application.

“I decided while I was there I might as well apply, too,” says Mitchell. In the end, his friend’s application was rejected while Mitchell was accepted onto the force.

What started out as perhaps an afterthought by a young man just starting out, has turned into a distinguished career. Mitchell is now Chief Mark Mitchell of the Kawartha Lakes Police Service, having officially taken on the role Aug. 31, after former Chief John Hagarty retired.

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For women experiencing domestic abuse, pets often used as cruel leverage

in Community by

More than half of women delay leaving an abusive partner because of concerns for their pets, according to research from the University of Windsor.

Dr. Amy Fitzgerald, who released her research in 2017, also found a shocking 89 per cent of domestic violence cases that also involve some type of animal abuse.

Women’s Resources, serving the City of Kawartha Lakes, has been working hard to solve the barriers for women who need to leave an abuser. Since 1992, they have had 32,454 crisis calls and the Victoria’s Shelter Program has supported 2,537 women and 2,180 children. Now they are working with PAWs and Company to help solve the challenge facing women who need to leave an abusive situation, but have pets.

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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

in Community/Local News/Poverty Reduction by
“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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