‘Bring­ing bold ideas’

Sentinel-Review (Woodstock) - - FRONT PAGE - HEATHER RIVERS

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.


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