‘Bringing bold ideas’
Keynote speaker Dr. Lynn McIntyre of the University of Calgary says she will be bringing “bold ideas” to a town hall meeting hosted by Operation Sharing on Tuesday, Sept. 26.
McIntyre said she will first address the issue of food insecurity or the lack of access to food due to financial constraints.
“I will be talking about how it is an income problem not a food problem,” she said. “If you eliminate food insecurity than you are half way to eliminating poverty.”
People from all sectors of the community are invited to the meeting, which is designed to start a conversation that could lead to real change in how Oxford County deals with poverty and food insecurity.
McIntyre said she will present her research that concludes providing people with a basic income can half the food insecurity rates in poor populations.
She will also be encouraging Oxford County to utilize its knowledge about solutions to poverty to make change at a provincial or even national level.
Tracy Smith-Carrier, an associate professor in the school of social work at King’s University College at Western University, is one of five on a panel that will explore solutions to poverty and also will be discussing the merits of basic income.
“We are moving away from the charitable model which tries to help people living in poverty,” Smith-Carrier said. “But until we solve the income problem we won’t solve the poverty problem.”
Smith-Carrier said in the 1970s and 1980s government wiped out a poverty problem among senior citizens with old age security and guaranteed income supplement.
“If we can do that for one population we can certainly do it for another,” she said. “We have the money to eliminate poverty if we want do it. There is a lack of political will.”
One group that needs to be focused on is working single adults, she said.
Smith-Carrier said he believes a higher minimum wage and universal basic income “is the way to go.”
The day after the town hall meeting a professional workshop with policy makers, including politicians and other representatives, is expected to lead to a declaration of intent.
“It will hold feet to fire of all elected and unelected officials,” McIntyre said. HRivers@postmedia.com What: Oxford County Town Hall Meeting on Poverty Where: Unifor Hall, Woodstock When: Tuesday Sept. 26, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.