The Income Security Working Group and the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton co-sponsored a meeting at Christ Church Cathedral in Hamilton on Tuesday afternoon, April 8 to hear and discuss a policy framework on common priorities and lead policy initiatives proposed for the upcoming provincial consultations on a poverty reduction strategy for Ontario. This was scheduled as one of the regular Speakers’ Series of the Income Security Working Group. Marvyn Novick and Peter Clutterbuck of the SPNO were the guest speakers for this event.
The policy framework highlighting sustaining employment, livable incomes and essential social resources was well-received by the 40 community participants. In discussion, questions and comments referred to the following considerations:
- Attention to the needs of new immigrants in a poverty reduction strategy because of the many barriers that they encounter in establishing themselves in Canadian communities.
- Appreciation that the policy framework recognizes the situation of temporary workers currently exploited by bad employers and needing stronger protections of their rights to fair wages and good working conditions.
- The importance of supporting card certification so that unionization is not so difficult, since collective representation of workers’ voices is the primary way that bad jobs become good jobs. A Good Jobs strategy should be a central part of any poverty reduction initiative.
- Recognition that we need to more strongly link social justice initiatives for poverty reduction with creating ecologically sustainable communities – we need stronger social justice-environmental alliances.
- Assurances that poverty reduction provides adequate support for helping people develop their literacy skills.
Those assembled spent some time in small group discussion creating a “starting list” of ideas for ways to have input into the upcoming provincial consultations. All ideas were recorded and a group of about twelve participants agreed to meet in two weeks or so with representatives of the SPRC, the ISWG, and SPNO to develop an action plan for making effective input to the provincial consultations.
Contact: Deirdre Pike, Hamilton SPRC, firstname.lastname@example.org
(905) 522-1148 ext. 302