Christmas Dinner Plans

Even if Mr Ford hadn’t decided to put a stop to the $15 dollar minimum wage, it wouldn’t have raised minimum wage earners above the Low Income Cutoff (LICO) for Waterloo Region. Although we’re told we ‘recovered’ from the recession of 2008, Canadians earning minimum wage nearly doubled (from 6% – 10%) between 2017 and 2018.  Minimum wage jobs don’t just have low pay, very often they are for precarious work.

Although Waterloo Region is a rich community, many members of our community are financially strained during the holiday season.  (And for the rest of the year, too.)

MYTH: Poverty is not an issue in Waterloo Region. More than 1 in 10 people in Waterloo Region live in poverty. REALITY: Although Waterloo Region is a great place to work, live and play, poverty is an issue in our community. In 2006, approximately 10.2 per cent of residents (48,000 people) in Waterloo Region were living with low income. Imagine - you could fill the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium seven times with this many people! Did you know... • 12.2% or 13,750 children 0 to 17 years in Waterloo Region are living in low income.2 • 451,411 meals were served in 2011 through meal programs throughout Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.3 • In May 2013, there were 8,727 cases on the Ontario Works (OW) caseload. This is a 39% increase in the caseload from September 2008.
2013 Poverty Myth Busters for Waterloo Region (page 3)
Download the PDF

That’s why the Green Party supports raising the minimum wage to a living wage, and implementing a Guaranteed Livable Income (universal basic income set at 10% above LICO).    You can find out more about Basic Income from our friends at Basic Income Waterloo.

Unfortunately that’s not going to happen until we start electing more Greens.  In the meantime, people are living in poverty and Christmas is coming.


UPDATE: We’ve added new pages (in the Resources section of the top menu):


The following is a list of free Waterloo Region Christmas Dinner options for people in need.  If you (or anyone you know) is in need of a good dinner over the holidays, please share.  (And if you’re able I imagine these organizations would welcome volunteers.)

I’m not sure who originated this list (I received as a paper handout), but most of the dinner locations listed here are for the City of Kitchener.  If you know of any others in the rest of the region– Cambridge, Waterloo or the Townships, please share and I’ll add them to the list.

Friday December 14th, 2018

Trinity United Church – Christmas Dinner Community Can Dine – Elmira, Ontario
6:00pm-7:30pm
21 Arthur St. N., Elmira Ontario

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper
open 5:00pm-8:00pm – Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

KCI Christmas Dinner
10:45am – 1:30pm

787 King Street W., Kitchener (enter off King Street)
Tickets available at St. John’s Kitchen or St Mark’s Church
(Limited tickets available last week of November and first week of December)

Thursday December 20th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Friday December 21st, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Saturday December 22nd, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper – open 5:00pm-8:00pm
Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday December 23rd, 2018

Caper’s Sports Bar – Christmas Dinner
Noon – 3:00pm
1 Queen Street North, Kitchener
*Toy and Clothing giveaway

Monday December 24th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
Meal by St Vincent de Paul
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Ray of Hope – Festive Dinner
7:00pm-8:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Tuesday December 25th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Christmas Dinner by Friends of St John’s Kitchen
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Ray of Hope – Regular Dinner
7:00pm-8:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

First United Church Christmas Buffet
11:30am-1pm
16 William Street, Waterloo

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Friday, December 28th, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Festive Dinner
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church – Regular Saturday Supper
open 5:00pm-8:00pm – Supper served 5:30-7:30pm
57 Stirling Avenue North, Kitchener

Sunday December 30th, 2018

Ray of Hope – Lunch
Noon-1:30pm
659 King Street East, (Back Door) Kitchener

Monday, December 31, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

Tuesday, January 1st, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen CLOSED

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2018

St. John’s Kitchen – Regular Hours
11:30am to 1:00pm
97 Victoria Street North, Kitchener

THE MANITOBA STORY: A BASIC INCOME FILM & PANEL PRESENTATION #Mincome

November 21st, 2018
6:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
David Braley Health Sciences Centre Auditorium, |
100 Main Street W.,
2nd Floor, Hamilton L8P 1H6

THE MANITOBA STORY: A BASIC INCOME FILM
& PANEL PRESENTATION
Hamilton Basic Income Group and The Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction invite you to attend this free basic income film screening and panel presentation on
From 1974-1979 the first full-scale pilot of a Universal Basic Income was implemented in Manitoba. During the experiment, every resident of the small town of Dauphin was eligible to receive unconditional cash, just for signing up. The project was called Mincome. The results of Mincome, buried for 40 years, are brought to light in this documentary – a Truth Be Told film.

Panelists:

DR. EVELYN FORGET,
Health Economist, University of Manitoba
Author of The Town With No Poverty and Basic Income for Canadians: The key to a healthier, happier, more secure life for all

RON HIKEL
Executive Director of the Mincome project from 1974 to 1978

LIVING PROOF SPEAKERS
Hamilton participants in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot

Also featuring Humans of Basic Income portraits by photographer Jessie Golem

Wednesday, November 21, 6:45 – 9:00PM

REGISTER for this Free event
https://www.bruha.com/event/4036

*Note: This is not a WRGreens Event

Save the Basic Income Pilot Project

Back in 2015, 122 Ontario doctors pressed then Ontario Liberal Minister of Health Eric Hoskins to adopt Basic Income because income (or lack thereof) is a serious health issue.   The Wynne Government took its sweet time about it, and I have no doubt at all their Basic Income Pilot was intended to result in re-election.   Still, WRGreens own Stacey Danckert pointed out the last Liberal Budget provided no funding to do anything after the pilot would have ended.

During our recent provincial election campaign, the Liberal, NDP, Green, and Doug Ford’s PC Party all indicated they they would continue the Ontario Basic Income Pilot after the election.

Universal Basic Income

The idea of Universal Basic Income is actually an old one, dating back to the Fourteen Hundreds. Far from being a left wing, socialist or communist idea, the concept spans the political spectrum, no doubt in part because poverty does too. There are left (human dignity) and right (stop theft) arguments for such a system, particularly in capitalist nations like Canada that are already investing vast sums in a piecemeal social safety net that has not managed to make a dent in citizen poverty.   In Canada politicians of every political stripe have agreed we need to eliminate child poverty, and yet poverty is still with us.

Even American Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman advocated for a basic income alleviation of poverty.

"Suppose one accepts, as I do, this line of reasoning as justifying 
governmental action to alleviate poverty; to set, as it were, a floor under the 
standard of life of every person in the community."

—Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom

In his role of economic adviser to Republican President Richard Nixon, Friedman supported a negative income tax as a means of creating that floor and eliminating poverty. Had Nixon’s government not fallen in scandal, such a regime may have even been implemented in the US.

The international resurgence of interest in the idea of a Universal Basic Income gathering steam in the early 21st Century is growing fast for a host of reasons, including the collapse of manufacturing due to so called “free trade” agreements combined with the rapidly approaching decimation of the job market by ever increasing loss of human jobs through automation.

Read more about the Conservative Argument For UBI in “Four Reasons Why Conservatives And Libertarians Should Support Basic Income|Those who support limited government and free markets should support fighting poverty by giving more money to the poor” and “The Libertarian Case for a Basic Income.

All of this is why it was reasonable to take Premier Ford’s promise to continue the OLP’s Basic Income Pilot Project if his party came to power.  Whether for or against the idea, it only makes sense for any government to complete a project that has already cost the taxpayers of Ontario so much to get the data at the end of the rainbow. Any decision to take the matter further or toss it out could then be made based on facts rather than partisan rhetoric.

Sadly it seems Mr Ford prefers rhetoric. Rather than forging sound public policy in order to govern “for the people,” his new Government has opted to cancel Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot.

More than 20,000 people have signed this change.org petition asking the Ford Government to Save the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Project.  But the Ford Government isn’t listening to the people.

But all doesn’t need to be lost.

The Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction has appealed to the federal Liberal Government:

“We already have the infrastructure. They should adopt the program.”
Tom Cooper, Director, Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction

The mayors of the municipalities that have been piloting the Ontario Basic Income have likewise asked feds to take over Ontario’s basic income pilot

Federal NDP  Leader Jagmeet Singh calls on Liberals to save Ontario’s axed basic income pilot.

It isn’t exactly such a crazy idea.

The Liberal Party of Canada has a long history with Basic Income, and in fact it was Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s Government  that co-authored the 5 year Mincome Pilot in Dauphin Manitoba in the 1970’s. Unfortunately, as often happens with long term projects under short sighted FPTP voting, Mr Trudeau’s Government fell and the data from the just completed pilot project was shelved and buried, only emerging for consideration many decades later.

And lately, the Federal Liberals have been flirting with the idea of Basic Income as well.

We believe there is tremendous national value in finishing this project. Every province is grappling with how to provide a strong social safety net that allows people to lead dignified lives without creating excessive administration. We are in desperate need of preventative approaches that will reduce the burden of poverty on our health care, education, and criminal justice systems.

Elizabeth May and Mike Schreiner, Schreiner and May ask Trudeau to rescue Basic Income pilot

Instead of starting their own Basic Income project from scratch, the Justin Trudeau Liberal Government need only spend $50 million dollars to complete the Ontario Basic Income Pilot project.  That would be an incredible bargain basement price for data that would prove invaluable for making federal economic policy.

What can we do to help?

We can write our own letters to the Prime Minister and our own MP (and remember– physical letters travel postage free to the federal government.)  But we can also sign every petition… like the one just begun by our friends at The Council of Canadians:

Petition: Call on the federal government to take over Ontario’s basic income pilot project.

Every little bit helps.