Posted by & filed under 2014, News.

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I want to thank the Brantford Expositor for their #FacesofPoverty Series. I was invited to be one of their speakers at their live event on poverty issues last night with the head of the local food bank and an amazing young woman with current lived experience.
 
Over 50 attended live and many participated online in the live blog experience in a respectful and engaging way.
 
But now we need action including:
  • financial education as a mandatory part of schooling,
  • greater access to affordable & healthy food,
  • less barriers to employment,
  • public transportations links for the County, Six Nations and New Credit,
  • funding to help young people in poverty get a drivers licence,
  • 600 million dollars a year to eradicate seniors poverty in Canada,
  • imposing tougher rules to make sure people aren’t gouged at the pumps and on their energy bills,
  • incentives that steer companies away from relying on temporary work agencies when they could hire people for a living wage instead,
  • and better access to health care, mental health care and pharmacare.
 
Economically it makes a lot of sense to fight poverty – every dollar spent saves multiple dollars in health care and justice systems costs.  Pharamacare alone is projected to save us 2 billion dollars as a country due to lower drug costs because of bulk buying power and prevention of further disease complications.
 
Conversations, like the ones held last night won’t fix the problems in and of themselves, but overtime they will reduce the stigma surrounding poverty and combat the inaccuracies that are out there that stop us from doing sensical things to make this a better and more equitable country.  
 
Events like #FacesOfPoverty help to bust up the myths that are out there so that we can gain the political will to do the things that are needed.  Things that will make for a more prosperous, fairer country with better opportunities and quality of life for every Canadian.
 
See the Brantford Expositor’s Live Blog of the event here:

 

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A shot of the audience at #FacesOfPoverty – an excellent Brantford Expositor event on the realities of local poverty, and what can be done to make progress on this issue.

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