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Class action lawsuit filed, seeking justice for basic income recipients

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

As expected, four people from Lindsay who had been receiving payments through the Ontario Basic Income Pilot have launched a proposed class action against the PC government for its premature cancellation.

The three-year OBIP began in 2017, with international eyes on it as among the most comprehensive pilots in the world, but the current government cancelled it in 2018, before gathering its own follow-up information from participants.

The applicants are Dana Bowman, Grace Marie Doyle Hillion, Susan Lindsay, and Tracey Mechefske, all from Lindsay. A statement of claim was filed today by the Toronto law firm of Cavalluzzo LLP. The firm is “dedicated to social advocacy and the protection of working people.”

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Trevor’s Take: Whither the Progressive Conservative?

in Opinion/Provincial by
Premier Leslie Frost.

Growing up, Leslie Frost was a hero to me. In our cupboard at home we had some Pyrex flatware — a wedding gift to my parents from Frost. The family connection was that my grandfather, who ran Bill’s Taxi in Lindsay, had driven for Leslie Frost.

Rushing Frost’s forgotten passport from Lindsay to Toronto with police escort was the stuff of legend in my house. That I went to a school named after him only increased my sense of connection to the man.

I follow politicians of every stripe and I’ve found myself wondering lately how a politician like Frost would fare in today’s meme-based, fact-agnostic, political atmosphere. His nicknames were ‘Old Man Ontario’ and ‘The Great Tranquilizer.’

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‘Demonstrate that you truly have the concerns of your constituents at heart’

in Poverty Reduction/Provincial by
There has been no attempt at communication even by phone, email, or through her staff. Photo: Roderick Benns

On Day Three of a protest to seek an apology for the premature cancellation of basic income, the question on many people’s minds is just where is local MPP Laurie Scott anyway?

The question comes not only from the protesters, led by local lawyer and social worker Mike Perry, but also from many of her constituents through letters to the editor and social media. While most people recognize she has duties and obligations at Queen’s Park in Toronto, there has been no attempt at communication even by phone, email, or through her staff.

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Basic income sit-in participants — even media — barred from entry to MPP’s office

in Poverty Reduction/Provincial by
n Monday Perry had led a small group to protest in front of Scott’s office

On day two of a peaceful protest in front of local MPP Laurie Scott’s office, lawyer and social worker Mike Perry was informed they were not welcome to enter the constituency office. Neither, apparently, is media, as Scott’s staff members would not even let Pamela VanMeer of Kawartha411 in to ask a question about the protest.

Not even the postal carrier could get in because of the locked door and simply moved on with the day’s mail.

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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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