Lakehead Community Meeting (Thunder Bay, May 28)

More than 50 community members attended a panel presentation and discussion on poverty reduction in Ontario at the Prince Arthur Hotel in Thunder Bay on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 28. Sponsored by the Lakehead Social Planning Council and the Thunder Bay Economic Justice Committee, the event highlighted brief presentations by:

Aaron Park of the Lakehead Social Planning Council, who reviewed the results of research he had conducted with focus groups of low income people in Thunder Bay to help formulate a local poverty reduction strategy for Thunder Bay showing that affordable housing, income levels (social assistance and minimum wage), the stigma of OW and ODSP, and punitive policies were among the major issues raised.

Participants in the meeting offered their own observations and comments, including the following:

Near the end of the meeting, Larry Joy with MPP Michael Gravelle‘s constituency office pointed out that the poverty reduction strategy was an initiative of the Premier, even though poverty is not a popular issue. He announced that Minister Deb Matthews’ community consultation would be held on June 16 in Thunder Bay and that he would assist any interested parties to participate with the qualification that there be one representative from any organization.

Later in the evening, the Lakehead Social Planning Council held its Annual General Meeting, which featured the premier performance of a play about racism called Closing the Distance at Magnus Theatre. The play was a product of the Lakehead SPC’s Social and Economic Inclusion Project in 2006 and was performed by a troupe of high school students.

Event Reports

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