About 30 participants came out to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Kitchener for a presentation and discussion of the Blueprint by Marvyn Novick and Peter Clutterbuck on Thursday, November 27.
The afternoon was led off by several social justice songs by the the Radical Choir of Wilfrid Laurier University sung several social justice songs related to the topic of poverty. Trudy Beaulne of Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo introduced the session reviewing recent CCPA polling data on Canadian attitudes towards poverty.
Marvyn Novick’s presentation was very well received. Those assembled broke down into small groups to identify action areas to work on for the promotion of the Blueprint. Report outs identified the following:
- Keep raising our voices and not let the momentum of this fall dies out. Go to MP and MPP and highlight poverty reduction as a priority as a priority. Continue to respect people for their dignity and humanity in our individual and collective behaviour.
- Push for the region to accept the living wage, which was recently put on hold.
- Make affordable housing a top priority.
- Reaching out to all our networks and present our case in a rational and reasonable way. Create delegations in our own networks to work on issues to take to the Region and MPPs. We need tools for reviewing policies.
- Since the Government has stated its commitment publicly, we need to keep it in public attention – go to MPP and keep it in the media
- People on ODSP should be fast-tracked for their eligibility rather than being turned down repeatedly before finally being declared eligible.
Greg deGroot Majetti of the Mennonite Central Committee of Ontario concluded the afternoon with a review of 25 in 5’s Five Tests for Success. He suggested that those present use this tool when the Government announcement comes out to see whether it has met the tests.
The Social Planning Council of Cambridge & North Dumfries sponsored a presentation of the Blueprint by Marvyn Novick at the new Cambridge City Hall on November 28.
There were 32 individuals in attendance; poverty round table members, city councillors, a LHINs representative, a region of Waterloo representative, Cambridge self help food bank ED and staff, the mayor, fair income group members, affordable housing advocates, and other engaged community members.
The presentation was well received and the discussion that followed generated encouraging comments. Discussion themes explored:
- Finding active champions from the business community were explored as being resources of strength for a poverty reduction strategy
- Paramount priorities for a five year plan
- The availability of resources cited in the blueprint presentation.
- The child benefit was considered the most important element of the Blueprint among the participants followed by labour market restructuring.
There was also a request for the presentation resource citations to be made available.
Cambridge report prepared and submitted by Monika Konrad, Social Planning Council of Cambridge & North Dumfries.