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

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:

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

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.