Poverty Forum (Peel)

Date: Monday, July 21, 2008

Time: 6.30 p.m

Location: Four Corners Library, 65 Queen Street East, Brampton MAP

POVERTY PROGRAMS CAN KEEP YOU POOR

Brampton-Mississauga and District Labour Council and Peel Poverty Action Group (PPAG) are providing a forum for poor people in Peel to tell their stories. They want to hear from people living on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or those with jobs that don’t pay enough to raise a family, exactly what they need to lift themselves out of poverty. The stories and suggestions for improvement will be sent to Deb Matthews, Chair of Ontario’s Cabinet Committee on Poverty Reduction.

The meeting takes place at 6.30 p.m., Monday, July 21, 2008, at Four Corners Library, 65 Queen Street East, Brampton. There’s no charge for admission.

“Government programs are a trap that keep people poor, no matter how hard they work,” says Jim McDowell, Labour Council delegate from CAW 1285. “Though the Ontario government has held so-called consultations about poverty across the province, the consultation in Brampton was by invitation only and was held during the day, when workers can’t go.

“Our poverty forum is open to everybody, and we hope people will share stories and experiences about living on little,” he said. McDowell noted that factory employment is disappearing in Ontario. For every manufacturing job lost, seven to 10 service industry jobs are in jeopardy. “Nobody is immune from poverty,” he declared.

PPAG chair Edna Toth said that some government supports, such as Ontario Works and ODSP, penalize people who get jobs. “A PPAG member who is severely disabled loses 50 cents of every dollar he earns, and risks a rent increase and loss of health benefits because he has a job,” she said. “He will tell his story at Monday’s meeting. We expect to hear more stories where The System punishes people who try to get ahead.”

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