Despite the limited publicity for a public meeting hosted by Jeff Leal, MPP (Peterborough) on June 17 at the city’s public library, interest in the meeting by word of mouth encouraged 50 people to come to express their belief that the provincial government does have a role in reducing poverty in Ontario.
Three persons who live in poverty were asked to explain the choices they were forced to make by trying to pay their living costs, and then the meeting participants discussed solutions that would help people living in poverty.
The provincial government’s role was considered as key to help people by;
- raising the rates of assistance
- increasing the minimum wage to $10.25 now
- ensuring that all jobs, including part-time jobs, have benefits
- restoring the diet program to meet individual needs
- providing new geared-to-income housing
- providing funding to caregivers
- considering rural needs for cost of living, eg., deregulating the operation of school buses so that transportation can be provided to low-income people when schools aren’t using the buses