About 80 people attended a march and rally and participated in a free stone soup lunch at the Farmers’ Market Building across from City Hall in Owen Sound on Friday, October 17, 2008.
The event recognized the International day for the Eradication of Poverty. It was also a call to our community to keep pressuring the government to follow through with their promise to come up with strategic plan and recommendations to reduce poverty because those struggling with poverty need help, especially now with the economic difficulties that are expected. Now is not the time to hold off on their promises and not the time to ignore the needs of those living in poverty. Action is needed now to prevent further and deeper hardships. This issue cannot be delayed.
Speakers included local United Way spokesperson Francesca Dobbyn, President of Grey Bruce Labour Council Dave Trumble, Glenda Devlin Grey-Bruce Community Legal Clinic, Scott – a man on disability, Lynda Aldridge, a local singer/song writer who performed her song “Money and Means”, which she wrote in 1995 to protest the welfare cuts at the time. Its refrain includes the line, “If you ain’t got money and means, you ain’t got no right to your dreams.” Aldridge also told the “Story of Stone Soup”
The 25 in 5 Declaration was the focus of many of the speeches and copies of the Declaration were distributed.
Covered by Rogers Cable TV and the Owen Sound Sun Times, the latter reported that about 40 people from the rally marched to the office of local MPP Bill Murdoch to deliver paper plates with quotes from the stories of low income people.
A little girl named “Mary” was among them, walking at the front of the marchers, carrying a sign saying “Children Matter, End Poverty Now.” Her mother said she took her daughter out of school because she thought it was important.
Submitted by Glenda Devlin, Grey-Bruce Community Legal Clinic