Dear Colleagues, 

The provincial election is over and we were able to use our Income Solutions advocacy to raise the issue of basic income and living wage at many All Candidate Debates. We shall continue to hold space for solidarity on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. Power is held accountable within and outside of the ballot box. We shall continue to raise our rural voices and amplify the voices of the most vulnerable in our communities.

This month is Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month. We recognize the rich history of Indigenous Peoples, the resilience of Indigenous communities and the work being done towards truth and reconciliation. This month, take the time to learn and explore Indigenous history. Access resources and join community activities.

  • National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: visit their education hub for additional learning and teaching resources.
  • Indigenous People’s Day – Sacred Fire June 21st, 
  • Giiwe Youth-In-Transition and Housing Sharing Circles invites Indigenous and Non-Indigenous partners to join the upcoming Giiwe in-person circle. Friday, June, 17th, 10am-2pm, Traditional Fire at the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority near Inglis Falls. People are welcome to come and bring colleagues, family and friends. Lunch is potluck and Nadia Ellis (is coordinating all donations.   (
  • Anishinaabe Giizhigad (Anishinaabe Day) on June 6. To learn more about this new holiday, have a read via Anishinabek News.

We recognize and celebrate the 2SLGBTQI+ community in Grey Bruce. The Grey Bruce Pride have pulled together a list of events throughout the two counties.



  • Ontario government support: people who are affected by a fire (and other circumstances), who are not being supported by OW or ODSP can apply for financial support (under $1,000) at:
  • Owen Sound Water Rates:  according to a recent study, the average annual residential Owen Sound water/wastewater bill (for 200 cubic metres of consumption) was $1,344 in 2020, in line with the average for other municipalities with water services in Grey Bruce ($1,371). Water and wastewater surcharge rates have been raised which will impact on many people’s ability to pay bills quarterly. However, people can now negotiate monthly payments to make it easier to make payments. 


  • YMCA Emergency Shelter: ·        
    • In 2019, the YMCA provided 2,569 nights of shelter with 214 nights of shelter/month.
    • In 2020, the YMCA provided 6,513 nights of shelter with 543 nights of shelter/month.
    •  In 2021, the YMCA provided 8,380 nights of shelter with 698 nights of shelter/month.        
    • In Jan-Apr 2022, the YMCA provided 3,875 nights of shelter with 968 nights of shelter/month. 
  • Cooling Stations are open in Grey County and Bruce County: contact 211 for the latest listing. 
  • Hanover Fire Response: community partners continue to provide support for tenants who are homeless after the fire. The trauma of the event is still being felt by tenants as expressed in this first person account. But the community and social service partners are doing their best to assist people to find shelter and recover. 
  • People impacted by the fire should contact 2-1-1 for support. These needs will be channeled to the appropriate service agency. 


Recent data collected at (20 May 2022): 

  • 46,000 community meals were distributed in the 1st quarter of 2022. This is a slight increase over 2021 but with less organizations providing meals. Community meal programs are busier than anytime in the last 20 months. This is driven by the cost of housing and living right now.
  • 21,000 kilograms of food was diverted under food rescue so far in 2022. 17,000 kilograms were diverted in 2021. Please reach out to Paul Wagenaar or Jill Umbach to assist in onboarding new retailers.
  • 55,000 kilograms of food was distributed by food banks. This is a 32% increase over the same period in 2021.
  • 8,000 volunteer hours were donated in the 1st quarter of 2022. Volunteers are largely seniors and they are doing an incredible job. Reach out and thank these volunteers.
  • Community gardens are in the planning and preparation stages for summer production. Food donations and volunteers are tracked for these important programs as well.

Stay well, Jill

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