Oct 17 Poverty Video

Oct 17 link to video!

Behind the Curtains

Howdy!..here finally is a mini snapshot video of the entertainment on Oct 17 International day for The eradication of Poverty at Fairy Lake in Newmarket...enjoy!

Also don't forget the ISARC kick-off party tonight at the Eaton Centre...want to go! need a lift let me know!


Poverty Breaking the Cycle ISARC PACC video

Good Morning. Have fun watching this somewhat flawed yet at times funny and at times serious video. Made on my trip to Queens Park Dec 1 when ISARC was releasing their provincial audit to the media. Note: this video is done with some humour. I will also produce a more serious piece focusing on the positives and including the successful launch party...so relax! Ha ..but this video does serve it's purpose.


Also posted on the BRAND NEW "pacc channel" on Youtube (search/join povertyacc) is a separate video of the Ministers 2nd year poverty reduction progress report last week on " Breaking the Cycle". Hear the announcement in its entirety as captured by PACC news!

PACC news

Changes to the Special Diet Allowance


Clipped from their website:

Changes to the Special Diet Allowance
November 30, 2010 2:45 AM

Ontario is revising the Special Diet Allowance to make it more accountable to taxpayers and compliant with the recent Order of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

By revising the allowance, the province will help social assistance recipients who have eligible medical conditions receive the special diets they need to help manage their conditions.

The Special Diet Allowance will be one of a broad range of special purpose benefits considered in the context of Ontario 's comprehensive social assistance review, which begins January 2011.

Changes to the Program

Ontario is revising the Special Diet schedule - the list of conditions eligible to receive a Special Diet Allowance - to be compliant with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision and improve accountability measures in the program. The revised schedule is informed by the recommendations of the Special Diets Expert Review Committee. Changes include: removing conditions that the Special Diets Expert Review Committee found to not require a special diet allowance requiring that recipients consent to the release of relevant medical information to support their application, and putting much stronger tracking methods in place, so that questionable trends can be identified earlier, and appropriate action can be taken.

With these changes, some Special Diet Allowance recipients will no longer be eligible for the program. There will still be a $250 per month maximum cap for people with multiple medical conditions who qualify for more than one allowance.


The revised Special Diet schedule will take effect April 1, 2011. New application forms will be available in February 2011 and mailed to current Special Diet Allowance recipients.

People eligible to receive the Special Diet Allowance under the revised schedule will need to apply for the new program. All payments under the current schedule will end by July 31, 2011.


Rebecca MacKenzie
Minister's Office

Sandy Mangat
Communications and Marketing Branch

Ministry of Community and Social Services

Poverty News Events Reports Employment Opportunities

Reminder! ISARC provincial social audit release Party Thursday Dec 2 all welcome .. media release at Queens park (pre-registered ISARC insiders only) Dec 1. Tom Pearson will speak Re: York Regions involvement.

Kids for Kotlands Concert – Tues Nov 30! featuring Singer / Songwriter sensation Glenn Marais – Raising $1,000,000 for an orphanage with kids whose parents all died of AIDS/HIV - tickets - http://www.onrichmondhill.com/events.php?id=6804

The Regional Municipality of York and the Community Partnership Council for York Region’s Local Immigration Partnership initiative are developing a “made-in- York Region” strategy that will help new immigrants integrate socially and economically and to contribute to the overall quality of life for all York Region residents. Newcomers and long-term residents, organizations and agencies across York Region to complete the Community Online Survey and have your say at www.yorkwelcome.ca! The survey is available between November 15 to 30, 2010. The survey is quick and can be completed in English, Chinese, French, Italian, Korean, Persian (Farsi), Russian and Tamil.

25in5 - In a report marking the second anniversary of the province’s poverty reduction promise, the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction says recession has put even more heat on the Ontario government to put its commitment on the front burner. Campaign 2000 released a report that indicated child poverty in Ontario has risen and continues to rise - an unacceptable 15% of children in our province still live in poverty. We cannot understand why, 2 years into the government's so-called poverty reduction strategy, the poverty rate rose. Clearly, more action is necessary and fast!
“The 2008-09 recession hit Ontarians hard, plunging many into poverty and making it more challenging for those already in deep poverty to climb out,” says Greg deGroot-Maggetti, co-chair of 25 in 5.“The post-recession reality is that many Ontarians need help getting back on their feet, with additional supports, training, education and job opportunities.

Job opportunities: 1st one is with Heart & Stroke who’s community person was promoted. This change will take effect the end of January, allowing plenty of time to recruit, train and orient my replacement here in York Region. The job posting is attached (1 year contract). Please feel free to forward it to anyone you feel may be qualified and interested. http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=pvI3IeNWJwE&b=3581667&ct=8887143

Also..ISARC is looking for an Executive Director send resume / info to info@isarc.ca

And finally: a learning / collaboration opportunity -

Dear Tom, It’s no small irony that just when the need for innovation and new ideas has never been greater, the time and resources needed for professional development seem to be shrinking. At Tamarack, part of our mandate is to fuel your continued learning through our free tele-learning opportunities and monthly Engage! e-magazine as well as our face-to-face learning events. We hope you’ll take advantage of the upcoming opportunities in the month ahead.

On December 9th, join us as Yves Lévesque, director of Vivre St. Michel en santé hosts an interview with Anne Roberge, director of poverty reduction policy for the ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale. They will be speaking about the Government of Quebec’s Action Plan for solidarity and social inclusion 2010-2015. Announced in July 2010, this action plan foresees investing seven billion dollars over five years, and is the second plan to combat poverty and social exclusion in Quebec. To register please visit the Event Listing section of the Tamarack website here (tamarack@tamarackcommunity.ca).


ISARC Do the Math Politics and More

Hi everyone. I hope all's well as can be! Well I made a complete fool of myself while trying to get to see Don Cherry from "Coach's Corner" to endorse our event when he was in town on Friday but alas even dressed as the icon I was too late with a line-up stretching way far. I did leave our flyer about the March break road hockey tourney though ... ha ... "And Everythink else!" Also attended the Green Party's Aurora kick off and NDP Richmond Hill / Thornhill riding events on the same night; got drenched but managed to convey some of PACCs concerns with them and both groups seemed welcoming. I also presented both local Chapters with a copy of the YR Social audit that we co-produced.

Speaking of which.Thursday DEC 2 at 6-8PM ISARC will be hosting a release party for the Ontario-wide version of the audit at Holy Trinity Anglican Church at the Eaton Centre complex. Come out for food & celebration! Woooo! Rides being arranged.

Nov 30 at Richmond Hill's Performing Arts Centre you can support the building of an orphanage in Africa by attending childhood friend Glen Marais' concert as they look to raise $1,000,000; tickets info below. Glen's a phenomenal talent as any attending Oct 17 can attest to. http://www.onrichmondhill.com/events.php?id=6804

The hunger report is out! To access the HungerCount press release, report and video please go to http://smr.newswire.ca/en/food-banks-canada/hungercount-study

The Forum for Children youth and Families is another forum we've been participating in..I'm sending an attachment along to keep you all informed. We are currently evaluating the value in this planning group. Input is welcome.

Pic of most of the Put Food In The Budgets " Do The Math Rally Team" that went to Green Barns in Toronto

I also encourage everyone wanting to stay informed to check the website regularly and become a FACE-BOOK friend to Poverty Action for Change Coalition!
Tom out!

Support Poverty Reduction in the York Region

.. Below from Vaughn Citizen Editor... Attend and ask a related question. Do they support a national anti-poverty strategy? Do they support an official poverty measuring system? Reinstatement of full census? Do they ( insert your Federally controlled concern here)?

Do The math!

Date: Thursday, November 18, 2010, 8:33 PM

Dear friends and community partners,

Please join The Vaughan Citizen, in partnership with Human Endeavour and the Vaughan Social Action Council, as we host a public debate Tuesday, Nov. 23 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. between candidates of the four main parties running in the Vaughan federal byelection. Invited candidates include Kevin Bordian (NDP), Julian Fantino (Conservative), Tony Genco (Liberal) and Claudia Rodriguez-Larrain (Green). The debate will be held at Vellore Village Community Centre, in the cafetorium, 1 Villa Royale Ave., in Woodbridge.

A panel of journalists, community leaders and Vaughan mayor-elect and former longtime Vaughan MP Maurizio Bevilacqua will put questions to the candidates. The last half of the debate is devoted entirely to questions from the audience ... Look forwarding to seeing you there!

Correction Meeting Time today

Correction on the address for todays 1pm meeting location - 919 Bray Circle - left (w) off Leslie N of Davis Dr Newmarket behind No Frills plaza (keep right).

Nov 15 Road Trip to Green Barns evening Put Food in the Budget - " Do The Math" rally attached...Appearance by YR's own " Schtick Jagger" as well!

Nov 18 is the ISARC leaders lunch/event - $40 for those wishing to attend. No funds for avail for this that I'm aware of....Dec 1 ISARC provincial audit launch at Queens Park.

Also...We have an opportunity to reward a couple families at xmas with some presents/goodies...if you are or you know of a family that could use some assistance with gifts etc this year - AND WHO MISSED THE Charity SIGN UPS let us know asap..



PACC Meeting in Your Community

We have been moving the PACC meeting locations around as of late to allow opportunities for different communities to attend - especially those who have a tough time getting away.

If you'd like to host a PACC meeting in your community (hall) please let us know!

Next in BRAY CIRCLE - community hall 191 Bray ( N of Leslie St & Davis Dr behind No Frills) at 1PM - 2:30PM.if u need a ride let us know!

Also...next Monday Nov 15 - Road Trip to Toronto - Put Food in the Budget Campaign's Rally - Ontario-wide " Do The Mathers"( see attached)...fun day out and see the "Green Barns" in Toronto a place they grow food indoors and community food access awareness campaigns..RIDES are available but we must know who's coming!

Last call for PACCer for becoming non-profit Operation Sparrow Board member...I will be stepping down and we want someone who can relate to these families situations on the board as the current board( meets once per month) as it sits, lacks that crucial element to continue to operate with full dignity and respect or families..Let me know..

Tom Pearson


PACC Pictures News Upcoming Events

Howdy! Hope all’s well!...lots to inform about so please read below

1st up a big thanks to http://www.sweetloveable.com/today-is-world-day-to-end-extreme-poverty-of-canadians-update/ for the pics posted thus far http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2259567360&v=photos&ref=ts

Anyone else with any.. please submit.

Apparently this journalist (link below) is anti-native and speaking in Aurora…shall we attend? Anyone wish to? http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/statica/2010/10/activism-communiqué-call-action-anti-native-journalist-christie-blatc

Nov 15– Field Trip - Put Food In the Budget / Do The Math Rally!! – Join groups from across Ontario at the Green Barns Toronto – rides arranged..possibly a bus for those attending! See attached…anyone wishing to perform a song!!..let me know!

ISARC Provincial - Nov 18 religious leaders forum / or isarc - $40 for those wishing to attend.

Dec 1st Queens Park ISARC Provincial audit book launch at Queens Park Media Centre – morning – contains excerpts from YR’s audit!

Next!!..This sent us by a local NDP organizer – “Richmond Hill and Thornhill NDP are hosting a fund raising reception with Andrea Horwath as guest speaker on Nov. 16. at the McConaghie Centre charging $25 a ticket with many people donating more. I have several people who have donated and cannot attend and they have expressed their desire to sponsor some tickets for people on fixed incomes. There is no one more deserving than those who give their time and energies to PACC. I have 2 tickets for you and I would really be pleased if you could attend. There will be a speech by Andrea, but then she will mingle with the crowd and everyone will have an opportunity for a personal talk with her. Please contact me if you can come.” I contacted him and said we are non-partisan (neutral) but may wish to attend as I feel they are showing gratitude for PACC keeping the onus on government in their absence (of representation). It’s a compliment we all share…anyone want to go?

Do the Math – next meeting Dec 15th 1:30pm at Penrose -

Request for board members – Operation Sparrow – anyone interested to sit on the board of Operation Sparrow (www.povertyacc.com/getinvolved)? Let me know..great opportunity for experience .

Request for PACC as recipient organization from Spotlight Theatre School for all our work in the community – any objections?

More pics from Oct 17 on the PACC face book page http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2259567360&v=photos&ref=ts as well as our website www.povertyacc.com/getinvolved

Next PACC meeting Wed Nov 10 at 1pm…location to be announced!

Newmarket Ontario UN Eradication of Poverty Day

Immediate Release: Oct 12 2010: Contact: 289-221-0928
Event: International Day for The Eradication of Poverty

AKA - World Day to End Extreme Poverty

Location: Fairy Lake Park, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada (Water St and Eagle)
Time: 1-7PM – Main-stage Performers – 5PM
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada -

Expect to smell food, and hear hear music & traditional drumming upon arriving as Newmarket plays host to York Region Ontario’s International Day to Eradicate Poverty this Sunday October 17 at Fairy Lake Park from 1 Pm until 7PM with free hot food / soup served up from 1-2pm, information booths, “starving artists” performing path-side, a children’s area, mainstage speakers and performers, and a mic for those wishing to speak out about poverty. The internationally marked event was first recognized by the United Nations in 1992 but was inspired and started by a Frenchman named Joseph Wreneski.as World Day to End Extreme Poverty.

Joseph Wresinski was born to immigrant parents in a poor neighbourhood of Angers, France. He grew up in a family which suffered from chronic poverty and social exclusion.In 1946, he was ordained as a priest and served in industrial and rural parishes where, right from the beginning, he related to the most deprived families.

In 1956, he was assigned chaplain to 250 families in a emergency housing camp in Noisy-le-Grand, near Paris. The families lived in quonset (nissan) huts erected in a muddy field. He said about his years in Noisy-le-Grand: "The families in that camp have inspired everything I have undertaken for their liberation. They took hold of me, they lived within me, they carried me forward, they pushed me to found the Movement with them."

In 1957, Joseph Wresinski and the families of the camp founded the first association which was later to become ATD Fourth World. Responding to the demands of the families and working with them, the soup kitchen and the distribution of old clothes were replaced with a library, kindergarten, chapel and workshop. Joseph Wresinski’s firm purpose was to unite all sections of society with the poorest and most excluded. With this aim he met leaders of state, churches and international bodies from all over the world. He believed that every person he met represented an opportunity for the poorest and was determined that the Movement would remain open to people of all cultures, faiths and races.

His appointment to France’s Economic and Social Council in 1979 was a significant step in his quest for official representation of people in extreme poverty. With the publication of the Wresinski Report in 1987, he succeeded in gaining recognition of people in poverty as partners in society.

On 17th October 1987, in the presence of 100,000 people from every social background and continent, Joseph Wresinski unveiled a commemorative stone in the Trocadero Human Rights Plaza in Paris. On this marble his call is engraved: "Wherever men and women are condemned to live in poverty, human rights are violated. To come together to ensure that these rights be respected is our solemn duty."

Since then the commemorative stone has become a rallying point for people from all walks of life.

October 17th was declared "International Day for the Eradication of Poverty" by the United Nations in 1992. In several countries, on the 17th of each month, people gather to acknowledge the lives and efforts of those living in extreme poverty, and to renew their commitment to join them in their struggle.

Since the York Region event has been held, from 2005, it has evolved from a soapbox and a microphone for performers and speakers to envelope beautiful fairy lake Park in Newmarket and now includes offering an opportunity for singers, composers, musicians and other performers to play original work on a stage and at the same time keep the message of ending poverty alive beyond just Oct 17

In 2008 Newmarket town council approved officially endorsing the day and agreed to a permanent marker on site at Fairy Lake Park with regional council representative John Taylor unveiling the plaque before in 2009 unveiling the plaque – with its own commemorative rock – representative of the stone statue France - along with Mayor Van Bynen.

2010’s York Region event will again offer free hot fresh food and some information booths including information from the Legal Clinic of York Region., The Housing Help Centre, York Region Food Network, Ninos Kom Tin ( aboriginal), Make Poverty History, Poverty Action for Change Coaltion and others with it’s most expanding element being in the arts segments.

This year the event is allowing “starving musicians” to line the paths surrounding the event to add to the atmosphere and split anything raised with the organizers to help pay for the event. A main-stage is also part of the events features , not only used for the speakers but also for an “ Open Mic” session for performers doing pieces relating to poverty followed by Feature Acts including : Ninos Kom Tin drummers/singers, Composer/ Singer - Guitarists Glen Marais, Fred Joly, Brenda Bakos, Rappers - Krhyme Syndicate, Hip Hopper- Darius Mirshahi aka Testament & Spotlight Theatre presents cuts from RENT..other performers wishing to come up must check in at the main-stage.

For more info call 289-221-0928

Or visit





International Day for The Eradication of Poverty 2010

AKA – World Day Toe End Extreme Poverty

1PM – 2PM Drumming / background music, Hot Food – served from Gazebo location

1-5PM Info Booths, Street Performers

2PM – Main-stage MC Tom Pearson welcomes – Mayor - introduces the 1st speaker – year of the youth – Greg Carbis (teen) who will read the pledge against poverty followed by “Open Mic” for those speaking out about poverty. Those speaking from experience get 1st opportunity.

2:45: Engagement Interlude -

3PM “Do The Math” participants speak about their experiences eating a food-bank diet including York Region Media Group’s Debora Kelly.

3:15 Open Mic - Politi-Speak : Anyone who wishes to speak about any ideas to move things politically. Politicians may speak however no electioneering allowed and they must speak about what they would like to do towards eradicating poverty. Regional Councilor John Taylor will bring people up to date on what the Region has done thus far and where they are looking to go in regards to poverty related.

4:15PM: Engagement Interlude – engage politicians, others in ideas…

5:00: PM

Open Mic - music/spoken word

Mainstage Performers:

Ninos Kom Tin drummers/singers, Composer/ Singer - Guitarists Glen Marais, Fred Joly, Brenda Bakos, Rappers - Krhyme Syndicate, Hip Hopper- Darius Mirshahi aka Testament & Spotlight Theatre..more TBA.

Get Free Stuff Web Sites York Region

Here's probably one of the best web sites to find free stuff in the York Region Ontario Canada.

Get Free Stuff

Freecycle http://groups.freecycle.org/AuroraNewmarketFreecycle/posts/offer

Low Budget Diet Do the Math Challenge

Hi everyone...follow the blogs of YRMG Columnist Debora Kelly, Rev Robin Wardlaw, and others as they live 5 days on a low budget diet in our Do the Math Challenge!

The York Region Do the Math Facebook page is here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=303269942317#!/group.php?gid=303269942317&v=wall

Watch for us on the TVshow DAYTIME on Rogers 10 Oct 14 for Int Day promo!


YRT York Region Mobility Transit

A couple of reminders..

There is a public-input information session tonight for mobility transit (YRT) at the Newmarket Town offices on Mulock Drive at 7PM should anyone like to come out in support of voicing for changes. Dan & Ashley (both use wheeltrans) are most interested however currently busy fighting for the right to their new-born child, so it helps to have support...I will be there and Kristine and anyone else is welcome...

Also a reminder to everyone to sign the standup pledge against poverty this Fri., Sat. or Sunday.

You can do so at one of our community posts( meeting 6:30 - 7) 7pm - 7:30 pm Fairy lake Park ( pavilion) in Newmarket or Sat at Newmarket Farmers Market (booth) 9AM - 1:30 PM

or hold your own stand-up event up till Sunday!...or you can also sign the pledge online at www.makepovertyhistory.ca/standup

Let's set another world record for those standing at once against poverty!

Tom Pearson

Put Food in the Budget Campaign

A reminder there is a "Do The Math" group meeting ( Put food in the Budget Campaign ) today at 10:00 am at the Inn from the Cold building - 510 Penrose st Newmarket.

Also Fri Sept 17 at Fairy lake Park there will be a short PACC meeting at 6:30 pm followed by a "stand-up" call at 7pm-7:30 where we'll accept signatures/stand pledge against poverty which will be added to names around the world for (to pressure) the UN leaders who meet this month. ...and Sat Sept 18 from 9 AM-1:30pm we have a booth at the Newmarket Farmers market to accept pledges and promote Oct 17. All supporters welcome to participate - entertainers, face-painters etc also welcome!

I met with the Y.R. Commissioner yesterday in regards to the ISARC social audit which we presented them the 1st copies of. The meeting scheduled for an hour went 2/1/2 hrs! Very productive... More later on this. Tomorrow to meet with Debra Kelly of YR media group re: social audit. Those who participated and wish to, may get a chance to be profiled by them.

Below radio interview I did yesterday for airing today at noon on 93.3fm.

Instructions for accessing archived CFMU 93.3 disRespect interviews:
- point your web browser to http://radio4all.net/
- enter key word(s) in the search field near top right of home page (e.g., "disRespect")
- search through found list for the show you are looking for and click on it
- from here there are several choices, though what I do is click on the PODCAST button, then right-click on the mp3 filename to get a popup menu from which you can select to "Download Linked File As...", or alternatively select another option
- another way to access the audio file is to not click on that PODCAST button and instead click on the download button near the bottom right of the page (the button that is a white triangle in a red circle)

Tom out

Campaign 2000

On Aug 18 2010 I met with The Honourable Bryon Wilfert MP from Richmond Hill on behalf of Campaign 2000 ( http://www.campaign2000.ca/ ). I was to be meeting him with another who relies on wheel-trans to get around. When trying to book a ride, this person was told there were no rides available at that time because those early times are taken up by those who need medications, thus she could not go. I mention this because it's another way those in poverty and reliant on public wheel-transport (in YR) are often left out - such as in this case.

At any rate we met Aug 18 just the two of us(no assistant) and had a good discussion. I also received a letter the other day from his office following up on our meeting reiterating his positions..

I was impressed by his candor and knowledge. Having been a longtime municipal politician his local knowledge was also good.He knew that 3 and 1/2 million people lived in poverty in Canada - seemed to have a grasp on poverty nationally as well.

The MP supports a pan-Canadian conference on poverty ( and a national poverty reduction strategy with measurable outcomes) which would include all levels of government and hear from those in poverty. He supports income supplements and a $10 national minimum wage and indexing it to the cost of living.

He mentioned only 4.6% of a billion $'s alotted for fixing housing has been accessed to date and only 1.9% of $400 million for low income seniors housing and only .1% of 75 million for helping house those with disabilities.

MP Wilfert spoke of investing - not spending - mentioning that the only 12% of infrastructure spending actually created jobs.

He feels that the bill C-545 and C-304 are private members bills and are "feelgood" bills .

He supports pension reform, pan-Canadian learning approach including early childhood, aboriginal, workforce literacy for newcomers and access to higher education and training.

His letter to me concluded by saying he looks forward to working with me on this issue in the future...let's hope he means it.

Tom Pearson
Chairman, Poverty Action for Change Coalition
Make Poverty History YR

Make Poverty History YR September 17 2010

Make Poverty History YR and PACC will be holding a stand-up station on Fri Sept 17 at Fairy Lake Park Pavilion in Newmarket at 7 to 7:15 pm. Join millions worldwide standing at once and pledging against poverty either at our station or ...create your own!!

This is our chance to make a difference.

Stand Up and Make Poverty History.

The countdown to Stand Up 2010 has begun! On September 17, 18 and 19 join with millions of people around the world and help us make 2010 the year our leaders can no longer ignore our calls to end poverty at home and abroad.

Stand Up events and actions can be as big or as small as you would like them to be. They can be quick and easy to plan or they can be bigger events that require more planning. The choice is yours!

Whether big or small, Stand Up events and actions are meant to raise awareness of poverty, show support for ending poverty and bring as many voices together so that we make the biggest noise possible.

Where to Stand Up? You can Stand Up anywhere! You could Stand Up: at the office; on campus; at your school; with your faith group; at home with your family and friends; online (Facebook, Twitter); at a local event or concert.

Check out our new Organizers toolkit for more ideas on how you can participate in Stand Up 2010. Register your event by August 31st and receive a free resource kit!

Leaders will no longer be able to ignore our voices when millions of voices have come together and the noise, as Archbishop Desmond Tutu famously said, “will be deafening. Politicians will have to listen.”

Stand Up is our chance to do that. But we need your help.

Stand Up. Take Action. Make Poverty History. September 17, 18 or 19.

Productive PACC Meeting at Fairy Lake Newmarket

Last meeting was great! We had it outdoors at Fairy Lake Park and were able to envision how Oct 17 - International Day for the Eradication of Poverty will could look. We discussed the idea of moving the stage to be more open and welcoming to walkers-by and participants and had some good suggestions. We discussed more signage for this year and received donations to help put things together. We also heard from several organizations interested in having an info booth at the event. On a further update Glen Marais has agreed to play Oct 17 as well! Glen will be performing in Africa assisting efforts to make changes and is a welcome addition with an original song n that encompasses our theme. The performing/arts portion will also host some art pieces this year and likely a photo-display so looking to be a unique event and a short doc on poverty as well!

Also mentioned was the fact that the official stand-up count is slated for Sept 17,18,19 this year to coincide with the UN heads meeting in order to put pressure on world leaders to attend to poverty. We agreed that we would have a stand-up event on location at Fairy Lake Park on Sept 17 at 7PM . We can also have a short meeting at the same time for anyone wishing to help organize.Those that cannot make it can still be counted towards a new worlds record for those standing against poverty by pledging online and vowing to stand while pledging.The link is on our website should you need.

We also named a new program that PACC has rolled out in cooperation with YRDSB which we named - PACC to School - what we did was distribute about 100 backpacks stuffed with supplies, calculators etc through PACC going into the communities and delivering them via a neighbourhood BBQ! Hey how can you beat that! As well Operation Sparrow's Spotlight Theatre school also performed in one of the communities and we hope to expand this next year!

We will be looking to call a meeting for organizers - anyone from all organizations attached to poverty- interested in collaborating as well on the Oct 17 committee - likely next week so watch for announcements.

We are meeting with MP Wilfred from R Hill (East Beaver creek) on Wed morning at 10:00 am if anyone is interested to attend with me. We are asking for federal support on several key fronts (campaign 2000)

Sept 14 - YR transit - info session re: mobility transit - we plan to attend this the more the merrier! Let's put an end to "stupid rules" especially when it affects the lives of those with no choice!..to give you an example someone wishing to attend with me WEd cannot because there are no vehivcles available at that time..good thing(and no wonder) she's not going to work!

All 4 now..
tom Out


Vibrant Communities Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategies Series

For all you "summer workers" who are using the season's slower pace to make plans for the coming year, we are happy to offer a range of great learning opportunities to expand and deepen your thinking.

At 12:00 ET on Thursday August 26th, the next installment of our Vibrant Communities Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategies Series continues with a closer look at All Aboard: Manitoba's Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion Strategy. In May 2009, Manitoba became the sixth province in Canada to unveil a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy. On this call, Eric Leviten-Reid will interview Jan Forster, Executive Director of the Policy and Planning Branch of Manitoba Family Services and Consumer Affairs who co-chairs the province's cross-departmental working group responsible for this strategy. Jan will speak about Manitoba's approach to poverty reduction and the progress they have made to date.

Our final call in the Vibrant Communities Provincial Poverty Reduction Strategies Series will be held on Thursday September 23rd at 12:00 ET when Mark Cabaj speaks with Sherri Torjman, Vice President of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy. Sherri will summarize the substantive elements and process highlights of the various provincial poverty reduction strategies and discuss the important role that communities can continue to play in advancing and monitoring them.

Only a handful of spots remain for the 2010 Communities Collaborating Institute - Tamarack's signature, week-long learning event. You can learn more about the event's thought leaders and workshops on the CCI webpage. Please contact Leisa Nichol by email or by phone at 519-885-5155 to inquire about registering for any remaining spaces.

Please don't forget to visit our updated Friends & Partner Events for a listing of more learning opportunities. And, be sure to subscribe to Engage! Tamarack's monthly e-magazine for the latest on collaboration and community engagement.

We look forward to continuing to learn with you,

The Tamarack Team
Tamarack - An Institute for Community Engagement
5 Father David Bauer Drive, Suite 106
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6M2
Tel: (519) 885-5155
Fax: (519) 885-4454
E-mail: tamarack@tamarackcommunity.ca
Web: http://www.tamarackcommunity.ca/

PACC Meeting Failry Lake Newmarket

Next PACC meeting Thursday Aug 5...6:45 - 7:45 PM Fairy Lake Park Pavilion Newmarket!

Hello everyone hope the summer's going well as can be!

Our next meeting is as listed above...we decided to meet at Fairy lake so we can get a good look/see feel as to the shaping of this years Oct 17 event which we will discuss and visualize!

Also on our agenda is holding a 'stand-up" meeting / MPH event for Sept 16,17,or 18

Discuss attending the YR transit info session

Do The Math update - Ontario wide strategy - we are to come up with a wish list of local "celebs" to have live a poverty diet for 5 days and shadow someone.

Social Audit update - to be released September via news conference - those who participated can participate in the media conference at any level they wish - anonymous helper, speaker, or just be available to speak to the media whichever level people want.
  • new news and updates - Tom
  • schools yrdsb activity - kristine
  • new funds pledged - Tom
  • Operation sparrow update - childrens art classes still avail starts Oct, Aurora Karate spots still available immediately
  • web update

Hopefully people have seen the latest YRMG article on the special diet last week..miraculously the link doesn't seem to exist...look for another regarding national poverty strategy upcoming..

Hope to see you there!


Stand Up Against Poverty Action

After a lot of discussion at the global level, Stand Up has been moved to September 17, 18 and 19th 2010 this year. This is because there is a huge UN meeting in New York around the Millennium Development Goals from September 20 - 22nd. Stand Up was moved to the weekend just before the Summit so that we can put last minute pressure on world leaders before they head to New York for the UN meeting.

We've got some info posted on our new MPH website at www.makepovertyhistory.ca/standup.

We encourage people to stand-up or organize a "stand-up" event near you on any of those September dates. We will of course still be hosting Oct 17 Int Day for the Eradication of Poverty at Fairy Lake Park in Newmarket.

Tom Pearson
Chair, Make Poverty History YR,

Newmarket Poverty Rally 2010

PACC and Make Poverty History YR have been hosting an annual event in Newmarket alongside events held world-wide on Oct 17, International Day for The Eradication of Poverty for the past 5 years - last year those attending helped set a new world record for those standing at one time against poverty. We hope to do even better in 2010!

This growing event would like to grow even more this year by adding information booths, activity area for kids, path-side singers/performers and the inclusion of some native cultural history representation.We also hope to have more talent/art/media displayed this year as well.The event also typically attracts politicians, concerned residents, anti-poverty advocates, those living in poverty and random passersbies!

We would also like to strike up a collaborative committee made up of concerned residents and organizations to help shape the event this year and help plan and execute it.

As PACC receives no government funding we will look to accept donations to help pay our costs and think a donation of a minimum of $50 per booth(payable to P.A.C.C.).is reasonable for those interested to set up a display - considering PACC fights not only for the rights of low incomers but also lobbies for funding directly and indirectly for numerous groups and non-profits. Spots will be made available only to those groups assisting in those lives of people in poverty or marginalized by low income.

Please let us know how you would like to assist!

Tom Pearson

Meetings to Attend

Reminder to those interested there is a "Do the Math" meeting tomorrow July 22 2010 at 1:30 PM 510 Penrose St Newmarket...focusing on the direction this collaborative grouping takes next...also some Oct 17 Int Day for the eradication of poverty ideas to be bantered about...

There is also ..rally being held at 900 Bay St in toronto in support of saving the special diet and for raising welfare rates to allow people the basics for survival...for anyone interested... the rally includes a march I'm told, it's organized by OCAP.


Precarious Employment Survey Low Pay Hours

United Way, McMaster University and a number of other community agencies are conducting a survey on precarious employment issues. If you work for low wages, low hours etc. you may qualify for a small honorarium for a 60 minute interview.

The application form is available here: www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZSZNK98

From the Application:

"... United Way Toronto and McMaster University have formed an important research partnership with a number of academic and community partners to examine the issue of precarious employment. Precarious employment is characterized by:

  • Low pay
  • Limited benefits
  • Limited control over work schedules
  • Limited job security
  • Limited career advancement
  • Economic insecurity ..."

Potential Closing Free Clothing Bank Newmarket

We've heard that used free clothing depot that has been operating out of Newmarket's King George school has been asked to vacate. There's many low income residents of this region, including lots of single moms that need this resource to remain available for their used clothing and other items. There seems to be some petitioning going on but we aren't aware of who or what. Tom's and PACC have been asked to help save it.

We suppose the first thing is to appeal to the community for a new location rent free. Anyone that has any ideas on how we can help this long established Newmarket clothing bank?

Income Support Special Diet Changes

Please be advised that social services has apparently had a procedural change (this must be that "transparency" I heard tell about ha) regarding special diet wherein the worker used to send out the forms and information to clients on special diet reminding them that to continue they had to fill out the forms because their eligibility date was approaching - they have stopped this reminder routine without notice. In this case I believe a 'review" was twice yearly, and when she had not sent in the information (that she usually received in the past from social services in advance in the mail) she was cut off the diet without warning. Should you be on special diet I'd suggest you check your dates so you are not just cut off without warning.

Instead they just send you sent a cheque without the diet on it (in this case over $160 for a single parent with 2 small kids) and make you start the process of application from scratch and expect people to deal with the unaccounted income without notice and next they are eliminating it completely (they - your provincial government that is - claim to be realigning it but have stated it is not 'sustainable") ... this seems to be a great way to get people off the diet en-mass now and show them saving $ (by simply changing the routine in procedure) which they likely will say was done before as a courtesy and that it's not mandated that they do so - again is the message they are delivering about about caring and helping people here or finding ways to................

The next Do The Math YR meeting is July 21st..510 Penrose St in Newmarket 1:30 PM ..learn of a possible plan to help fight this ....

Tom Out!

25 Free Newmarket Saints Lacrosse Tickets

John Taylor has free lacrosse tickets to give away to the first twenty five people that email him for them.

The Newmarket Saints Jr. B Lacrosse are playing Halton Hills in the next round of playoffs at 7:00 pm this Friday, July 16 and at 7:00 pm on Monday, July 19 at the Ray Twinney Complex in Newmarket. If  you and your family/friends like to attend, please email him directly?

Email John Taylor - Regional Councillor Newmarket
Visit the Town of Newmarket Web Site

Do The Math Challenge

Below is the latest "Do the Math" provincial initiative...aimed at garnering support for a $100 Healthy food supplement to our lowest income households. The action asks for help in forming community teams and finding community participants - like politicians or reporters or entertainers to live on a welfare food budget for a week. It can be designed for our purposes to announce participants' experience - should there be any- onstage and via the media on Oct 17 - International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

See below for more on this and let me know some thoughts feedback!


Do the Math ‘Challenge’

Invitation This is an invitation to your community to participate in the Do the Math

Challenge (referred to from here on as the ‘Challenge’) which will be the week of

October 4 – 8, 2010. This ‘Challenge’ is inspired by the recent initiative of The Stop Community Food Centre and is in response to the request of several communities who are interested in replicating the ‘Challenge’ in their community.

The Challenge asks community leaders to take part in a public act of solidarity with people on social assistance by living for one week with some of the very limited food options faced by people on social assistance in Ontario. (See Challenge Format below for more details)

The reasons for this public act of solidarity are to show the Inadequacy of social assistance rates in ensuring a healthy diet and affordable housing.

Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty that there is public support for immediate implementation of the Healthy Food supplement – an increase of $100 per month for every adult in Ontario receiving social assistance - as a first step towards ensuring a life of health and dignity for people in Ontario with the lowest incomes.

To Demand An immediate increase of $100 per month for every adult receiving social assistance as a first step towards addressing the inadequacy of current social assistance benefits. A fair and transparent way of setting social assistance rates so that people can meet their basic needs and lead a healthy and dignified life.

Provincial Challenge: There will be a Provincial Challenge Team made up of leaders of Ontario organizations and leaders of the Put Food in the Budget Campaign whose income is social assistance.

The Anglican Archbishop Colin Johnson has committed to be part of the Provincial Challenge team. Leaders of labour, faith, health and arts organizations are also being invited and we will confirm with you their names as they confirm their participation.

Schedule - Provincial Challenge

Orientation – There will be an orientation session for people who have accepted the ‘Challenge’ where they will meet with a group of leaders of the Put Food in the Budget Campaign whose income is based on social assistance. The purpose of this meeting is to orient the ‘Challenge’ participants to the full experience of social assistance and to create a context for their Challenge experience. This Orientation will be in early September – date to be arranged.

Press Conference – There will be a press conference on Monday October 4 at Queen’s Park to announce the Challenge and introduce the provincial Challenge team.

Challenge – October 4 – 8, provincial Challenge team will take the Challenge and report through website and media interviews their experience.

Provincial Town Hall Meeting – Monday October 18th (evening) will be a Town Hall meeting in Toronto where the provincial Challenge team will report on their experience. We will invite people from around Ontario to join us for the Town Hall meeting and to stay for the following day for a strategy session on moving forward. This meeting is tied to closely co-incide with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Strategy Day – Tuesday October 19th representatives from communities around Ontario will meet to develop strategy to continue pressure on the McGuinty government to implement the Healthy Food Supplement.

Format of ‘Challenge’ - Community leaders who accept the ‘Challenge’ will choose a set of food choices that a person on social assistance typically has available in the last week of a month. Campaign leaders whose income is based on social assistance will create a short profile of their individual circumstances and provide a list of food that they typically have available in the last week of the month. Challenge Team members will choose the profile of one of the Put Food in the Budget leaders and make that their diet for three days to a week. (Challenge team members will purchase the food themselves from the list provided in the profile they select).

We invite your Community Challenge team to also hold an orientation session between members of your community with lived experience of poverty and with Community Challenge team members. We also invite you to hold a press event on Monday October 4th to announce and ‘kick-off’ the Community Challenge. We also invite you to hold a town hall meeting in your community after the Challenge is complete. You may choose to hold this in conjunction with International Day for Eradication of Poverty events in your community.

Organizing Responsibilities of Community Challenge: If your community accepts the Challenge then we ask you to take on these responsibilities:

1 . Recruit local community leaders to accept the Challenge and support them to
• Choose a diet based on the food options of lived experience of members of our Put Food in the Budget team that rely on social assistance and maintain this diet for between three days and one week.
• Report in their own journal or on our campaign website (or both) their experiences while on the Challenge
• Talk with people in their social, work and professional circles about the Challenge as they experience it

2 . Organize a public event (timing to be determined) that explains why your community is taking the Do the Math Challenge.

3 . Organize in a public event after completion of the Challenge to describe the experiences of people who took the Challenge and speak to the need for an immediate $100 increase in social assistance benefits

Checklist – A detailed checklist and sample materials will be developed and be available for your community in August.

Next Steps

1 . Are you interested in accepting the Community Challenge? This invitation is to provide you with an overview that you can bring to the leadership group in your community for an initial discussion and to begin thinking about who you might ask in your community to accept the Challenge. We would like you to let us know as soon as you can if you are interested, the questions that you have and the supports that you think you will need.

2 . Tell us what you need - Your questions and suggestions will help the Put Food in the Budget Campaign develop detailed resource materials and tools to support you if you choose to accept the Community Do the Math Challenge. These materials will be ready in August.

For more information please contact1 Mike Balkwill,
Co-ordinator, Put Food in the Budget Campaign
416 806 2401 mbalkwill@iasc.on.ca

I will be on holidays from July 19 – August 10. Please send email with questions, comments and I will follow-up when I return.


Rationale for the Challenge: Community representatives from the Put Food in the Budget campaign visited more than forty MPP’s across Ontario and asked them to complete the survey. The MPP’s who completed the survey said that a single person needs a minimum income of $1340 per month. Almost all of them said social assistance is inadequate.

The Liberal MPP’s gave different reasons for not supporting the Campaign’s request for an immediate increase, because of the recession; because they wanted to wait for the results of the Social Assistance Review, or because they feel there is not pubic support.

Minister Meilleur said to our delegation that ‘she would love to give people an extra $100 per month but it’s not on the public radar’.

The purpose of the Challenge is to demonstrate that there IS public support for an immediate increase in social assistance as a first step towards health and dignity for people receiving social assistance.

Secondly, the Social Assistance Review terms of reference have just been released.

The Review will not begin until September and will last twelve to eighteen months.

There will likely be no recommendations before the next election and no possibility of implementation before the election. So a second purpose of the Challenge is to raise awareness that the Ontario Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy means little if it ignores the poorest people in the province and fails to immediately improve the income of people on social assistance.

Finally, it is important to show public solidarity with people in Ontario who experience persistent stigmatization and discrimination.

PACC Peaceful Demonstration

OCT 17 PACC's International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Demonstration
PACC's Make Poverty History

PACC joins ATD Fourth World’s Pan-Canadian Evaluation

Le Trip du Montreal

After waiting in minus 20 degrees temperatures for over half an hour, I gladly borded the bus to Union Station earlier having met with MP Belinda Stronach. Myself, other PACC members as well representatives of York Region Food Network, and from York Region Alliance to End Homelessness, had all been there to voice concerns and to push forward an idea regarding a “conference” on poverty.

Previously, in a phone call to me, Ms. Stronach had conveyed an interest to participate in such a forum, providing it lead to change - which served PACC’s interests for sure.I left the meeting feeling very upbeat about its outcome and the direction in which we were going.

Upon entering the GO bus it was nice to see the familiar face of Caroline, who would be accompanying me on the long trip to Montreal by train. We had coordinated things that she would board in Newmarket and I in Aurora, so I would have panicked had she not been there.

“Do you have the tickets?” Caroline asked

“ Yup” I managed to gasp, still stiff from the brutal air.

“ How’d it go?” she enquired while stuffing a soft- drink in my hand and a cookie in my mouth.

I’m sure I babbled on for half the bus ride, spewing out enthusiasm with every word.Heck, we had momentum going, a national TV audience interview for PACC on CBC with Andrew Nichol on the day of our event on Oct 17(The International Day for The Eradication of Poverty)sent us into overdrive, using the opportunity to draw attention to domestic poverty and to the square-table forum to find solutions to eradicate/ reduce poverty. This idea/discussion continued on into our Oct 17 event, and included church leaders, marginalized persons, politicians, candidates and others, speaking on the front lawn of York Region headquarters that cold, rainy day, and it had now made its way to the attention of the MP.

We made our way to the VIA departure area and in short order, were en-route. Neither of us had been to Montreal in some time and excitedly looked forward to thrill of being in another province; but we also knew we were there for a reason which was to share and learn from other similar organizations from across Canada at The ATD Fourth World International Day annual evaluation. We were one of only 3 groups representing Ontario and the only one representing any townships in Southern Ontario.

It suddenly dawned on me after arriving at Montreal’s main train depot, that not only were we not 100% clear on who we would be staying with, but that I also had no idea of what the person looked like who was meeting us. After a few uneasy moments, I locked eyes with someone who turned out to be our greeter from ATD Fourth World Movement Canada. Diego, originally from Columbia, smiled wide with a friendly cheshire grin and offered in accented English not typical of French Canadian, that he thought he recognized me from the website picture. Laughing, we collected up our bags as we all made our way into the ‘metro” and after a “short walk”, we were greeted (en francais) with open arms and a hot meal at ATD Fourth World Canada ‘headquarters’ located in an older house near Beaubien “metro’ station. Here we also began crude attempts at conversing en francais, failing miserably. Ha. Passez moi une roll de dinner!

Caroline seemed to attract an instant “admirer” after sketching a dinner guest in one of her famous caricature drawings, and funny enough he babbled on to her non-stop in french,as if she knew what he was saying, long after he was told she didn’t. He was a harmless older fella and likely one taken in from the cold that night. Caroline was absolutely hilarious in her attempts to converse with what little french she remembered from school with him, but her pictures spoke an international language and were well received by all!

After eating, Diego and now others we’d met, informed us of where we’d be staying. I knew we were being billeted, but was unsure of with who or where. I suppose I had thought that we’d likely be staying with some ‘rich’ local volunteers. Maybe someone who could show me the town for one evening, which was all I’d have free. Staying with nuns was not exactly what I had envisioned. Ha!

We were spirited away at 10 PM halfway again back across town (thank god in a car this time! Ha!) to "Nun Central", at a place called "Maison Orleans", which is I believe a type of shelter with self contained units and located in a poorer section of Montreal. It was beautiful! 5 star! Ha! And the sisters were fantastic with offerings of toast and eggs and cheese, cereal, coffee etc in the morning! Merci! Sister Lisette spoke a little English, and would translate our words during conversations to the other elderly but spry sister (who’s name escapes me). Regardless they were fantastic and welcomed us back anytime!

Next morning, we trudged off to the subway, sorry metro, on our own, PACC display materials in tow. After a rocky start (our bus was half an hour late.. Montrealers have likely heard English cussing now!) and another ‘short walk”, we arrived at the location for the Canada- wide International Day evaluation.

The Oct 17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty was first recognized by The ATD Fourth World out of France, prior even to the U.N. recognizing it. ATD Fourth World was founded in 1957 in a camp for homeless families and now has movements running in 24 countries with correspondents in over 100. They use the national evaluation as a means for groups to aid each other by sharing what is working for them and what isn’t.

Many ideas were floated evaluation day that we hope to bring back and implement, mostly ideas regarding the International Day. For example we heard that municipalities have had the whole week leading up to Oct 17 declared Poverty Week, this way awareness is created/extended. Another idea used was from Sherbrooke Quebec, where they managed to arrange free local bus service on the International Day. Multi-routed marches were also mentioned wherein everyone arrives at a central location. There were many interesting ideas (with interpreters) discussed, and most were impressed with PACC and what we’ve accomplished and our “day”. Some were particularly taken with our ability to get press coverage at a higher than local level, and at our actions -including our proposed ‘square-table” conference and our self published book, “Voices From The Edge”. In fact we also proposed at that time that such a conference would make for a good annual event something PACC, Stronach and others had all mentioned being a good idea as far as having an annual, so we figured why not on the International Day!? Perfect!

Anyway, I do believe that our enthusiasm was infectious as we got numerous compliments in this regard. We (via Caroline) also revealed our banner made for our International Day event by elementary school kids, as we had been asked to bring an object that exemplified some meaning to us from Oct 17. I chose a glass of water, representative of a basic need for the impoverished and to highlight our rain soaked International Day affair.. and poured it over my head! This broke the ice before my 3 minutes about PACC, which had to be instantly converted into french. Ha

Afterwards we (Caroline & I) left at separate times for the “short walk” to ADT World headquarters and somehow both managed to get lost. We made it back though, and laughed at our similar experiences. One person told Caroline it was too cold to stop to tell her how to get back but then another was quick to help! Me? I’m a man, we have a hard time asking for directions at the best of times, and so Caroline arrived back before me!

The Sisters had arranged for us to have dinner at the famous Resto Pop, a “communitarian” restaurant. It became known worldwide from a documentary that won many awards, about the old converted church which now serves up gourmet meals for 25 cents per dish. Resto Pop also gives jobs to people no one else would, and receives its food from discards from Hotels and the like. This place reeked of history, which I could sense while gazing around the impressive old high ceilinged cathedral convert - and as Sister Lisette told me, “It is more of a church now than it ever was as an actual church.”

I was introduced to Pierre , a former “worker’ at Resto Pop. Pierre too is a great guy, who I think had preconceived notions about “English’ Canada, and whom I also can say is now a friend. He was “assigned” by the nuns to show me around for my one night out (nice or what!), but we just ended up mostly walking around the streets shooting the breeze all night - while Caroline and the Nuns watched TV! Caroline really took to the sisters, and if not for her ‘bum’ knee flaring up, I’m sure might even have described the stay as therapeutic!

The biggest systems difference I noticed immediately is that rent there for a one-bedroom apartment could be found in the city for $195 per month, and this wasn’t subsidized! It also includes heat/hydro! Mind you they are paid less in wages in Quebec I’m told.

Pierre also informed me that the building he lives in does not charge rent at all in January to give people a break! Ooh-la-la! Never in Ontario! Surprisingly, I don’t even recall seeing one homeless person on the streets while there. Mind you it was cold.

I also met Dennis Howlett from Make Poverty History (national) campaign there among others, an ally who has offered us an opportunity (possibly) to utilize Stephen Lewis should we be so inclined to have him as a guest speaker. All in all it was a short but great stay that accomplished a lot for PACC as an organization and for us as individuals.

The ride back was filled with vigorous discussions as you can imagine, particularly with two opinionated chatterboxes like us. By the way Caroline you still owe me 5 bucks because as I said Kim Mitchell was not knighted!.. and I still say that Tim Horton’s is owned mostly by Canadians because it is now a publicly traded company!!!

Is not! Is so! Not! So!

(Sigh) Oohh laa-la!
Tom Pearson

Access Links for York Region

Some Help Links in the York Region

Operation Sparrow for low income families in Newmarket and Aurora - Join your kids into karate, theatre school, other physical/cultural activities /possible transportation to/from. 905-716-1447

York Region Winter warmth programs - having trouble paying gas ? They will cover you!

Neighbourhood Network - Connecting organizations with volunteers

Newmarket Connection Community Information and Volunteer Centre

Newmarket Connections is located in the Newmarket Public Library.Newmarket Connections has up-to-date information on a wide variety of local groups and services, including: Counselling & Support Services,Childcare, Health Services, Job Search Guides, Education, Information for Newcomers, Seniors Services, Sports Clubs, Drug or Alcohol Rehab, Government Services,Transportation, Recreation Clubs, Hobby Clubs, Literacy Programs & Language Training, Women’s & Men’s Groups, Youth Groups, Theatre, Service Clubs. Newmarket Connections offers you an opportunity to talk one-on-one with a Volunteer Services Coordinator about prospects in the community that fit with your interests. Ask one of our representatives for an application, fill it out and we will contact you. High school students are encouraged to register with Newmarket Connections to help them fulfill their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) community involvement requirements. Contact us at 905-953-5110, ext. 4700.

The library has also just launched a new program called Pathfinders: Connections to Employment and Resources.

Pathfinders is a central access point to direct people to the resources and services offered by community-based not-for-profit organizations that will help them with employment transitions, job searches, skills upgrading and career networking opportunities. Contact Pathfinders by calling Newmarket Connections Community Information & Volunteer Centre at the Newmarket Public Library, 905-953-5110, ext. 4700.

Food Access Programs and Services

This listing provides an overview of food access programs and services in York Region. Please note that hours and days of operation may change, so please phone ahead. The information is current as of April 2005. For up-to-date information and/or directions, please call the phone number listed.

General Contact Information
Description:Health Connection

Public health nurses, dietitians and inspectors with York Region Health Services provide counselling on health issues. Provides a central access point to link to other health services.

Helpmate Community Info and Volunteer Bureau
905-884-3000 or 1-800-363-2412

Information and volunteer bureau provide region-wide information on community resources such as housing, counselling, education and health care.

YorkLink is an online and hard-copy directory connects York Region residents with over 700 community service providers and government agencies in the Region.

York Region Food Network
905-967-0428 or 1-800-454-9736
A charitable organization that works to improve food security and access to affordable healthy food for York Region residents. Initiatives include community gardens, community kitchens, regional food drive coordination, public education programs, awareness campaigns and volunteer and referral services.

Youth Food Programs
Stone Soup Supper Club (Youth Recreation Centre)
56 Charles St
A supper club for youth who want to learn about cooking and meal planning. Youth enjoy a sit-down meal that they have helped prepare. The program is held on Tuesday nights from 4-6 pm.

Homebase (Pathways)
10944 Yonge St
Richmond Hill
(N of Elgin Mills near Bernard)
A youth drop-in recreational centre providing food and clothing as well as assistance to find shelter / housing. Help with job search, support groups and counselling is available. Open Monday to Thursday from 1-8 pm and Friday from 1-7 pm.

York Region Youth Shelter
835 Gorham St
An emergency shelter for homeless young men, ages 16-25. Assistance with housing, referrals and counselling is available. Meals are provided to all residents.

York Region- Street Outreach Van
Markham, Woodbridge, Aurora, Newmarket Richmond Hill, & Sutton
1-866-553-4053 or 416-274-4972 or 905-252-8933
Program designed to assist homeless, or those at risk, to find shelter, food, clothing and health care. Needle exchange is provided. The van is on the streets Monday to Thursday from 2-9 pm and on Fridays from 10 am - 4 pm.

Women’s Services
ABC All Babies Count
Keswick and Newmarket
Richmond Hill and Woodbridge, Markham
905-853-5514 or 905-856-7300 or 905-471-1620
A program for moms-to-be. Provides snacks, a small meal, groceries and grocery certificate for clients.

Rose of Sharon Services for Young Mothers
905-853-5514 or 1-877-516-3715
Programs designed to meet specific needs and interests of young mothers and their infant to preschool-aged children. Provides educational and support services to clients. Food bank and donation room available for clients. Open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.

Sandgate Women's Shelter of Georgina
905-722-3220 or 1-800-661-8294
An emergency shelter for abused women and their children. Equitable organization equipped to serve all women. Community kitchen is held for Sandgate clients. Outreach support provided though the Keswick office at 905-476-8992.

Umbrellas Program (Addiction Services for York Region)
905-841-7007 or 1-800-263-2288 ext 322
Supports pregnant and parenting women (with child up to 6 months old) involved with alcohol and/or drugs. Offers appointments for free, confidential assessments, counselling, information, support and referrals to other community resources. Appointments available at a variety of locations. Support with food, transportation and child supervision available for clients.

Yellow Brick House
Provides shelter, counselling and support services to abused women and their children. Services also include parenting, children's program and follow-up. Public education provided to the community on issues of violence against women.

Women’s Centre of York Region
Offers individual counselling and group programs to women in transition and needing support. Also provides a program to low income women wanting to start their own business. Onsite food room and clothing exchange are available to clients.

Housing Help Centre

A Few Income Facts

Politically Connect!

A person earning the current minimum wage would have to work full-time for a year and a half to earn as much as the McGuinty Liberals paid Morley Gunderson to write a report. A person earning the current minimum wage would have to work full-time for two and a half years to earn as much as Dalton McGuinty increased his pay just before Christmas.

PACC Political Policy

We report news from various sources which may include information regarding any or all of the political party's. PACC members may be members of any party as PACC does not officially endorse any one party.

Reduction on Poverty

Excerpt sent by NDP representative as raised in parliament:


Mr. Michael Prue: My question is to the Minister of Community and Social Services.

A key component of the McGuinty government 2007 platform was poverty reduction. Specific action to reduce poverty was part of the 2007 throne speech but to date almost nothing has happened except consultations. Moreover, yesterday’s throne speech did not outline a focused strategy or set commitments to reduce poverty; not a single word. The Toronto Star called this virtual silence “disappointing.”

My question: Has the government abandoned its election promise and its throne speech of 2007 to implement a poverty reduction strategy?

Hon. Madeleine Meilleur: It’s a great question because poverty reduction—of course this government has been very engaged since day one in poverty reduction. I think that I heard it mentioned also in the throne speech yesterday, so perhaps we were not at the time the same event, but I heard it.

So this government has been very active. We have increased social assistance by 11% since we came to power. We are going to raise minimum wage to $10.25 on March 1. We have created a poverty committee, so we have fully implemented the OCD; it’s up to $1,100 annually. We have introduced the—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. Supplementary?

Mr. Michael Prue: This is the same minister who informed the House last week that they are looking at cutting off the special diet allowances.

The economic growth alone does not reduce poverty and that’s all you talked about yesterday. Yesterday’s throne speech said nothing about affordable housing, improving income security, job security or access to child care; not a single word. Instead, it passed the buck, as this government is very good at doing, to the federal government and the poor community volunteers.

Will this government make the necessary investments in the upcoming budget to achieve its poverty reduction targets? Yes or no?

Hon. Madeleine Meilleur: Again, I don’t think that this government has to take any lessons from that party. We have done a lot to reduce poverty and we will continue to do so. Every ministry has done something to help poverty in Ontario, including the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. Now ...

L002-1105-09 follows

[Hon. Madeleine Meilleur]

... and we will continue to do so. Every ministry has done something to help poverty in Ontario, including the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. Now the kids at age four and five will go to school, so it will help to identify those who need more help.

Again, we have increased social assistance. We have created this poverty cabinet committee and in my ministry, I have appointed Gail Nyberg who will help us to review the social system in Ontario. I’m very pleased to know that these people that have been appointed—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.

Can Minister Lives on $572 a Month

Following excerpt from the House asked in reference to getting the Minister of Social Services if she could survive on welfare's rate of $572.

Ontario Instant Hansard October 8, 2009


Mr. Michael Prue: My question is to the Minister of Community and Social Services. Can the minister live on $572 a month?

Hon. Madeleine Meilleur: I think that’s a very important question. That’s why this government, since we have been in power, has increased social assistance. This November and December, it will be 11% in total. We have done a lot to improve the quality of life of people.

Moreover, we have the Ontario child benefit that we’re supposed to get up to $1,100 by 2013. We have the Ontario child benefit that we’re supposed to get to $1,100 by 2013, and we have advanced this investment this year so they are receiving $1,100.

Is there more to do? Yes, there is, and this government, as long as there are people in poverty, we will continue to invest to make sure that we improve their quality of life.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary.

Mr. Michael Prue: The minister, of course, didn’t answer the question because of course she knows she can’t live on $572 a month. She’s never even in her life had to try to do it. The fact is, she can’t live on $572 a month, but she expects 137,000 Ontarians to do exactly that. The $572 a month is 40% less than a single person received in 1994 and half of what the new stop food centre survey says a single person needs to survive. Toronto’s medical officer of health says inadequate social assistance rates are making people sick.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, will this minister stop punishing social assistance recipients with poverty and sickness, and increase Ontario and ODSP rates by $100 a month so that they can eat properly?

Hon. Madeleine Meilleur: I appreciate the comments presented by my friend on the other side, but this government is very proud of what we have done, not only on the poverty side, which has a great impact on those in poverty. For instance, the Minister of Housing has increased support for housing; we’re creating more, because we know that the number one problem that people in poverty have is to find affordable housing. So my colleague has invested $1.2 billion to help build affordable housing.

My colleague in the education sector has improved the school breakfast program and all types of supports within the school system which will help those in need.

As I said, we need to do more for those in need and that is what this government—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you. New question.

PAC Invited to Round Table

June 2008- PACC was the only York Region group invited to poverty reduction round-table discussion allowed more than one member to attend.PACC members were out in force with 8 members attending the June 2 2008 provincial consultations on reducing poverty despite relatively short notice. Group members made their voices heard in the narrowly focused discussions. Great job everyone!

Youth Violence, Poverty and Children

Deb Matthews, lead minister on the province's poverty strategy, and George Smitherman presented their report called "Breaking the Cycle" at a press conference in Toronto Dec. 4, 2008.

Anti-Poverty Strategy

Focus on kids a good start, but breaking down stats by race called key to knowing who needs help

Dec 07, 2008

Tanya Talaga
Queen's Park Bureau

Ontario's $1.4 billion anti-poverty strategy must take a hard look at the "colour of poverty" and include indicators used to measure who is poor that are broken down by race, gender and disability, some advocates say.

Ontario's ambitious poverty reduction strategy, released Thursday, aims to cut child poverty by 25 per cent in five years.

The strategy also includes a $10 million investment to crack down on unscrupulous employers who take advantage of workers, and support for an array of community initiatives such as after-school programs in low-income neighbourhoods.

While the strategy is hailed as a welcome first step, race-based numbers need to be collected and analyzed, according to the Colour of Poverty Campaign, a province-wide group.

The issue of collecting race-based statistics is something the government has to look at carefully, said Children and Youth Minister Deb Matthews, who is in charge of Ontario's poverty reduction strategy.

"Ontario is in the midst of a social experiment here in that our level of diversity is quite extraordinary.

"We need to show the rest of the world that it works," Matthews said in an interview.

"When certain groups are not thriving we need to recognize that and get to work at it. Because our strategy really focuses on kids living in poverty, and racialized (people of colour) groups are disproportionately affected, this strategy will disproportionately affect those kids."

As the strategy is implemented, a further breakdown of indicators used to measure poverty will be considered she said, adding the link between poverty and race is acknowledged in the strategy report entitled Breaking the Cycle.

Some poverty indicators Ontario will use are birth weights, high school graduation rates and housing affordability. The campaign wants to see indicators broken down by race and ethnicity, gender, aboriginal status and disability, said Avvy Go, of the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic and a campaign member.

The Roots of Youth Violence report, commissioned after the death of Toronto high school student Jordan Manners in May 2007, pointed to racism as a problem in Ontario, she said at a Queen's Park press conference.

"We are here to remind the government (that) in order to close the gap between rich and poor they have to close the gap between racial minority groups and the rest of the population," she said. "We want the government to expand its anti-poverty plan in order to include targeted measures that will address this particular issue."

Many things were missing in the poverty report, said NDP MPP Michael Prue (Beaches-East York). "There were no programs for the homeless, the aged, aboriginals. No programs or statistics collected that are race based."

The focus was only one key issue – eradicating poverty in children.

"They narrowed the focus to such an extent that they left out literally everyone," he said. It is also a mistake to pin hopes on a $1.5 billion cash infusion from the federal Conservatives in order to help break the poverty cycle, he added.

"I despair."

Queen's Park About Poverty

Excerpt from provincial parliament (submitted by the NDP) from June 24 session 2008

Mr. Michael Prue: My question is to the Premier. A year ago, this government promised to make poverty reduction a priority. Last week, though, the Premier told Ontarians that they have to wait longer because times are tough and getting tougher. Ontarians are losing their jobs, some of them are being evicted from their homes, and many are being forced onto welfare. More than ever, now is the time for action. How much longer does the Premier expect Ontarians to have to wait to see serious action on poverty? A year? Two years? Or is it your intention to wait until after the next election?

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Premier?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: I appreciate the question and the opportunity to speak to this yet again.

I'm proud to lead the first government that is going to put forward a comprehensive and effective plan to address poverty in the province of Ontario. The issue is not whether or not we are going to put out a plan this December to address poverty; it's the rate and the pace at which we can move on implementing that plan. I have said that several times. The economy is in a state of flux. I think we should do here what families do in their homes: If financial circumstances change, then you adjust and you focus on your priorities. You make sure you keep investing in those things which are absolutely essential that you are investing in at present, and you have to be careful about taking on new responsibilities. That's what I've said in the past.

We will put in place a plan this December. The only issue is-and I look forward to debating this with my colleagues-how quickly we move forward on that plan, the first of its kind put forward by any government in Ontario.

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Supplementary.

Mr. Michael Prue: What I just heard was that we're going to have a plan, but no implementation. The Premier says this government can't move ahead with a poverty reduction plan because it is too costly, I assume, for Ontario's struggling economy. But many significant actions to reduce poverty would not have to cost the government a single penny. I'm going to give you four: This government could immediately increase the minimum wage to $10.25 an hour; this government could strengthen employment standards so that employers can't underpay and exploit workers; this government could cap payday loan rates at 35%, so that people don't see their scant dollars siphoned off at extraordinary rates; and this government could allow and bring back card-based certification, so that workers across all sectors can do what they need to to get better jobs. Why won't this government move ahead with these anti-poverty actions that will-

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): Thank you.

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: I appreciate the suggestions; I really do. My colleague joins 8,500 Ontarians who have visited our "growing stronger" website. We have received over 600 thoughtful submissions. Almost 500 individual experts have engaged in our first-ever province-wide poverty consultations. As I say, we look forward to delivering on that plan in December, unlike the NDP when they were in government.

Let me tell you about some of the things we've been doing in the interim. We have in place a new Ontario child benefit, with monthly payments now flowing to families. It will support over one million Ontario children. We've raised the minimum wage several times over. We've raised social assistance rates several times over. We're investing in affordable housing, a new dental program, a student nutrition program and literacy centres for parents and families. So we're not resting. We look forward to delivering on that plan. We'll keep working in the interim as well.

People on Disability Get Back Taxed


Mr. Michael Prue: My question is for the Premier. Thousands of Ontarians have disabilities. Those disabilities include mental, physical and emotional illnesses that pose serious barriers to their ability to work and earn a living. Through no fault of their own, people with disabilities who also receive ODSP payments are condemned by this government to a life sentence of poverty. ODSP benefits leave single adults $6,000 below the after-tax Statistics Canada low-income cut-off number. When will this government stop forcing Ontarians with disabilities to live on sub-poverty level benefits?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: To the Minister of Community and Social Services.

Hon. Madeleine Meilleur: It’s a very interesting question. This government has worked since we have been elected to improve the quality of life of those on ODSP. We have removed most of the barriers that were put in place by the previous government to prevent them to improve their quality of life. For instance, we consulted with them and some of them told us that they would go back to work if they were provided the medication by this government. There were also telling us that they would like to be able to retain more of what they are earning. So we worked on that. We have listened to them and we have amended our process to help them to improve their quality of life, and to help them if they want to go back to work.

Mr. Michael Prue: To the minister. And you continue to clawback everything they earn above $350 a month. Six ODSP recipients are with us here today—

The Speaker (Hon. Steve Peters): I would just remind the members of the use of some language in here. Thank you.

Mr. Michael Prue: Six ODSP recipients are here with us today: Ken MacLeod, Cheryl Duggan, Kyle Vose, Mike Yale, Chris Sartor and Sharon McPherson. They’re all here in the west gallery. They’re here to ask the Premier to listen to their stories and for the Premier to consider standing in their shoes. The meagre 2% ODSP increase that was in this budget amounts to 60 cents a day. What they want and what we all want is a commitment from this Premier that no Ontarian with a disability will be forced to live in poverty forever. Does this government believe that $2 a day is a reasonable amount for these people to have after rent and food expenses in their pocket?

Hon. Madeleine Meilleur: I will continue to let the people in the gallery know what this government has done since we came into power. We’ve listened to them. We have increased social assistance by—it’s going to be 9% this November. We know that they have a lot of challenge, and every time that we move forward to improve the quality of life, this party votes with their friends, who reduce their benefits by 22%. We’re listening to them. We want to improve their quality of life. We want to help them to return to work for those who are able to return to work. We are improving their quality of life so that they can keep their health benefits, they can keep their medication benefits and they can keep more of what they are earning and we will continue to work with them to improve their quality of life.

Parents and caregivers of people with a disability can claim past income tax credits for up to ten years. People with disabilities and their caregivers can have their income tax returns reassessed back to 1997. The 2004 federal budget restricted back filing after Dec. 31st 2004 to ten years. People with disabilities or their caregivers who have never claimed the Disability Tax Credit [DTC] should claim it now. Some claimant families have received refunds of $12,000. $17,000, $21,000, or more. Thousands of Canadian families, who care for a person with a disability, may be eligible to receive thousands of dollars in refunds from income tax they have already paid.


More than 3 million Canadians have a disability and depend on someone for support. A caregiver may be a senior caring for a disabled spouse or a common law partner, a child caring for a disabled parent, or grandchild, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew. Any one of these caregivers are eligible to file or back file for this tax credit. However many of these people are unaware of the Disability Tax Credit’s existence? The tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit that reduces the amount of income tax payable and it may create a refund for past taxation years.


If an individual or someone they care for is over age 18 and has a mental or physical disability that is severe and prolonged they could have claimed Disability Tax Credit on their income tax return. If at anytime the year they maintained a dwelling where the relative and their dependent lived, they may also be able to claim the Caregiver amount, and back file this to 1998. If the family has never claimed the Disability Tax Credit they may back file to 1997. Parents who care for a disabled child under age 18 may claim a reduced Disability Tax Credit. Families with low or modest incomes may be eligible to receive the Child Disability Benefit.


Qualifying for the DTC is the criteria to allow parents or relatives to establish a Registered Disability Savings Plan. It allows the individual or their caregiver to make claims for tax credits and deductions; such as education and tuition fees, attendant care, private nursing, aids to daily living, dental costs, prescription drugs, hearing aids, adapting a vehicle, travel expenses for medical treatment not locally available, therapy, group home fees, talking books, tutoring, renovations and many more.


In 2003 the federal government initiated a committee to explore issues relating to the Disability Tax Credit for persons with disabilities. The committee’s recommendations are included in their final report which can be viewed on their web site at www.disabilitytax.ca. Or you can visit the Canada Revenue Agency web site at www.cra.gc.ca. If you have never claimed the Disability Tax Credit, DO IT NOW!!. Don’t delay do it today, before you lose $1,000. It’s never too late. John Dowson Ch lp.
Mr. Dowson is the Executive Director of LifeTRUST Planning an organization that is committed to serving the needs of families of people with a disability. To get back axes you already paid call 1 877-DTC-1986 or email dtc@life-trust.com Visit their web site at http://www.life-trust.com/ First of a DTC series

Here is a link to some info on various parties positions with respect to poverty.

Recent liberal strategy on poverty:

Tell Premier Mcguinty your thoughts! http://www.premier.gov.on.ca/feedback/ http://www.incomesecurity.org/campaigns/documents/WorkingTable-1Oct.pdf

Click below to view upcoming 2007-8 changes to OW and ODSP recipients:

Please see the link below for impact of changes to OW and ODSP.


Link to recent Welfare report 2006 http://www.ncwcnbes.net/.

Low-Income Funding Boost

Liberals trump NDP dental announcement July 10, 2007 Canadian Press

The Ontario Liberals will look at boosting funding to provide more subsidized dental care for children and low-income residents, Finance Minister Greg Sorbara said today.

The province is currently spending about $90 million on providing low-income children with dental care, he said. "But it's an area of public policy that's deserving of more attention,"

Sorbara said following a campaign-style promise by the NDP pledging an extra $100 million to subsidize dental care for children and low-income residents.

"They're (the NDP) not the first ones to comment on the need in this area... It's an area that merits further consideration as we go forward."

New Democrat Leader Howard Hampton said Ontario has the lowest spending on dental care in Canada, covering only two per cent of overall costs. Saskatchewan covers 17 per cent, and Prince Edward Island covers 12 per cent, he said. "It's time to fix this broken and unfair health system," Hampton said at a news conference this morning.

"(The funding would) provide real relief to thousands from the pain, suffering and compromised overall health of dental disease."

The NDP plan would create "community dental health teams," and funding would be increased over time to offer more service to low-income residents who don't have dental insurance, Hampton said.

It's a smart long-term investment because poor dental health can lead to heart disease, diabetes and other serious problems, he added. The free care could be delivered in community centres and in rural and remote areas that are underserved by dental professionals.

Conservative Leader John Tory said he's more in favour of moving on a $1.2-million, five-year pilot project proposed by Toronto Oral Health that would help the working poor. But Tory said he's more focused on the state of the entire health-care system.

"I don't doubt that there are many things that we could do to improve dental and other kinds of health," he said. "My main concern has been with keeping the existing health services going."