York Region Voices heard in Queens Park

YRMG's Era Banner needs to respect Grassroots Voices

Recently I had a call from The Newmarket Era Banner asking me to comment on the Ontario government's announcements regarding their latest poverty reduction methods. I'm reluctant sometimes to do interviews with the paper as at times they misquote me, and, for a number of years now, have not published any of my many letters to the Editor nor any pictures.

The pics one is odd, as another recent time they'd actually asked me to come for a pic, after being asked to comment about the fact that York Region Council had voted to raise transit costs again - they are already the countries highest for local transit. I came down, they did the pic and they didn't run it. No explanation, and the article went on to replace my statement of it being the among highest in the entire country  to "already high".

In the most recent article they quoted me fairly well, however in  the following issue in " Letters to the Editor", allowed to go unchecked a letter to by a writer claiming PACC was in lock- step with the government. One need only Google the terms ' Poverty York Region" to find that is far from the case. The letter writer had used it as a sedge-way to discuss their own pet peeve, non-related to the subject of homelessness agenda, and I / we were left without defense or rebuttal so I wrote a letter to the Editor. Again, no print.

Shelter behind schedule due to plans changes
My lock-step point had been they should simply raise O.D.S.P. - Ontario Disabilities Support Program and welfare rates as their 'anti-homelessness" strategy and they'd be able to eliminate most of the "need" for their 'programs and such a heavy reliance on food bank solutions. Hardly a "lock step" position, yet it made " Letter to the Editor" without question and left for all to surmise it true since the column it referred to with my quotes was not in the same issue which leaves the reader with a final false impression and notion about PACC. I wonder if any other groups get this kind of treatment, where no pics and no letters or no articles are ever written by the newspaper yet they still call you on occasion for controlled quotes because they must.
Funny PACC's work is recognized by the Region and by the community at large, as shown through the chair being nominated for and  receiving The Queens Jubilee Award for contributions to country and co-authoring the region's social audit.

PACC's expertise and experience gets us invited to consult with government and various departments in order to help steer the direction they take, not because of any lock-step arrangement. They recognize who we are. It's time YRMG did as well and allow our voices truly heard.

How about a feature on PACC and all they've managed to accomplish, without government funding, for over 10 years, despite the silo they've been given to work in at times.

This week on Ontario budget day I will be locked in prior to the announcement and able to see the budget before the public does and ask questions of the Ministers prior to the budget announcement. Prior to this budget being tabled, we were asked to participate in input sessions to examine the directions the government would / should take - often at odds with what we felt priorities should be.

We didn't attend to say how wonderful they were doing, we attended to try and influence the direction in a way that is fair, but we always come back to a simple deduction - raise the rates first to pre Harris-like levels, and then you'll eliminate most of your "at risk" population. Add real addictions services - including gambling and drug alcohol rehabs and you'll eliminate it even further.

Join Dan's Stroll & Roll to Freedom
Simple Math - A LOCAL ROOM FOR RENT AD - $525 is the only ad I see for shared accommodation in the the Era Banner I have now. Welfare rates top out at around $600. Food banks give 3 days rations per month.

We'll be locked-in for tomorrows provincial budget. Should anybody request a comment we won't be allowed until after the 4pm provincial budget announcement. I won't hold my breath.

You can show your support for a BETTER DEAL for those on disability support on the Stroll & Roll to Freedom.

TP out