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Journey of homelessness, poor mental health, leaves man regretting checkered life

in Health/Poverty Reduction by
Journey of homelessness, poor mental health, leaves man regretting checkered life

Gaston Tremblay remembers camping and fishing in Kawartha Lakes and surrounding areas with his family twice a year in the 1970s and early 1980s. It was a peaceful and tragically short time of his life.

He tried three times over the years to get back here, where he believed things might be better for him. By the time he was 14, though, his then-undiagnosed mental health issues sent him on another path — to his first stay in a psychiatric ward.

Afterwards he found himself homeless and on the streets across Canada, an anguished journey that would last more than 18 years and cost him nearly everything he held dear.

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Food Source: Province should change course on social assistance reforms

in Poverty Reduction/Provincial by
Within Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, and Northumberland County 13.5% of households are food insecure.

Kawartha Lakes Food Source is calling for several changes to the Province’s social assistance reforms — including retaining the current definition of ‘disability’ in Ontario.

In April 2019, Feed Ontario released a report forecasting the impact of the Government of Ontario’s proposed reforms to social assistance and put forth three key recommendations for change — recommendations Food Source is in full agreement with, as outlined in a recent press release.

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Hamilton man uses basic income floor to stay active in community

in Community/Poverty Reduction by
Hamilton man uses basic income floor to stay active in community
James Collura: I'm stable now - so I feel like I can give more of myself without asking for anything in return.

James Collura is receiving a basic income through the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Program, in Hamilton. The Hamilton area, along with Thunder Bay and Lindsay, are the three basic income pilot sites. He has been using it in a way that serves his community. Lindsay Advocate Publisher Roderick Benns interviews Collura on exactly how – and why – he is using his new income floor in this way. 

Benns: How did you find yourself in the position you were in so that you were able to begin receiving basic income?  

Collura: I studied economics at McMaster and graduated with a BA. Like most students in my program, I realized my education didn’t exactly qualify me to be an economist or execute any valuable job-skill. I ended up working as a teller at a bank, where I found the most valuable aspect of my job was the personal interactions I had everyday. Meeting new characters, discovering their needs, witnessing their spending habits and lifestyles, and getting to know people from all walks of life. I had a big interest in the future of technology, because at my age, I need to anticipate what’s to come – the future of jobs in an automated world. At the bank, I realized my job was quickly becoming ‘app-ified’, and my top assignment was to convert customers to ‘digital banking’.

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