Tuesday, 17 January 2017

"These people..."

 If more people had jobs, or a decent income, it would support the infrastructure, give people dignity, and help the economy.

This began with Smiths Falls Council turning down an opportunity to participate in a pilot project to target those living below the Low-Income Measure (LIM). Our Ontario Today radio hosted a call-in, and you know how those go!

A lot of my clients have been in Smiths Falls. The town hosts over 250 rent geared-to-income apartments. It is a tough place to find work, with the many factories that have closed up shop over the years and moved to Mexico. Smiths Falls lost 1700 jobs in a short period of time, in the 2008 recession. They've lost the Hershey plant (2008), Stanley Mechanics in 2009, etc. 

What ticked me off was the woman who was on this phone-in complaining about 'these people'. They are us. They are our neighbours, one pay check away from homelessness.

One of the councillors, Dawn Quinn - who looks to be at least my age, is against this program.
Quinn spoke from the heart about her experience as a single mother who worked to put herself through hair school and again spoke of the important role education would play in fixing a broken system where people fall through the cracks, like a man on ODSP Quinn said she visits every Christmas. The man she visits lives in a shack with a sunk in, leaking roof.
I would caution her that this was a long time ago. Things change. Society and economics are different. My kids are in their 30s, and we cannot look back. When we know more we do better. This is a good study, to examine the impact of raising the income of those who most need it.

People living below the low-income measure (LIM), collectively, are on ODSP, the working poor, the homeless, are disabled, mentally ill, stay-at-home single parents; shouldn't be spoken of collectively. There are many stories, and many situations.
What do you think?

Ontarians are asked to provide their opinion online.

Basic Income Pilot consultation

This is what the Canada child benefit provides to parents. We know, of course, how expensive it is to raise children these days.
Canada Child Benefit


Karen said...

No one wants to talk about us seniors either.....

Christine said...

very interesting topic Jenn, I think it is Finland that just
introduced a basic income program for its citizens...at first I wondered how this could work...thinking of all the abuse of such a system...but then...maybe it can work.

William Kendall said...

I think it would be a good idea. Phone in radio shows tend to bring out the worst in callers, though.

Cat Lover said...

I, of course, have heard over the years how hard hit Smith Falls has been. So much job loss in a small community. Thanks for sharing this information.

Anvilcloud said...

I'm not going to go into the links and background, but the reality is that our society is changing. There may come a future, and it may come sooner than we think, when only the few will work, and the rest may require basic income. For example: how many jobs will disappear when trucks begin to drive themselves safer and better than they are driven today? I don't know how quickly this will happen, but could it start in about ten years?

Hope you are well. I am beginning to get back on board.