Election Education # 4
Affordable housing is a key municipal election issue. The trend of urban out migration to rural Ontario has made the available housing stock in our communities much more expensive and harder to find.
We have added the following reports from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) to BruceGreyVotes.com and other municipal resources:
- A Blueprint for Action: An Integrated Approach to Address the Ontario Housing Crisis (February 2022) states “the impact on rural seniors and young families is distressing” and “this lack of accommodation poses a significant restriction on growth and development and on the sustainability of the labour force in rural Ontario.”
- More Homes for Everyone (April 2022) speaks to the need for the Ontario plan to “specifically address the unique needs of rural communities and Indigenous people living within rural and northern municipalities”.
- Bruce County Affordable Housing 101 Toolkit: explains what is affordable housing and the housing needs in Bruce County and each municipality.
Seniors and Homelessness
- Grey Bruce By-Name List: is delving into the plight of seniors who are homeless. At present, 42 seniors are on the list (age 62-84). Of those, 11 are deemed actively engaged. Most recently an 83 year old was housed by Bruce County Housing.
- Homeless Hub: according to a National Shelter study, over 8.3% of shelter users are 55 and over and tend to have longer shelter stays compared to younger adults. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, seniors will be the group that experiences the highest rate of mental illness in Canada by 2041.
- Seniors experience homelessness for a variety of reasons, including the lack of income to pay for housing (low government assistance, insufficient pensions, low wages and/or savings), the shortage of affordable and secure housing, deteriorating physical and mental health, a relationship breakdown and/or suffering from violence and abuse. (Source: Homeless Hub)
- The risk of homelessness for seniors can also be increased by the death of a spouse, social isolation, discrimination, or a lack of awareness of available benefits and services.(Source: Homeless Hub)
- Senior citizens are twice as likely to access a food bank long-term than those under 65. (Source: Feed Ontario)
BruceGreyVotes.com In the News
- Voting has an Impact
- An Extensive Report Looks at Poverty in Bruce Grey – Kincardine
- An Extensive Report Looks at Poverty in Bruce Grey – Saugeen Shores
- Poverty Task Force Compiles Resources for Upcoming Election – Shoreline
How Do People Know about the Change in Voting method?
This municipal election people will need to vote online or via phone. We included the links for each municipality’s voter information on our website.
- Voting Period is Oct 14th-24th.
- We know each municipality will mail out Voter Information Letters – most are scheduled to go out at the end of September or beginning of October.
- The Voter Information Letters will also contain the location and hours of Voter Help Centres or Desks that will be available during the voting period.
- Municipalities are mandated to set up Voter Help Desks (in-person and by phone) to assist people to vote online or by phone.
- For example The Town of Blue Mountain (https://www.thebluemountains.ca/town-hall/council-committees/elections) indicates the Voter Help Desk will be at the Town Hall from Oct 15th – 24th, 9am-3pm and extended to 8pm on some nights.
- People can be directed to their municipality link on BruceGreyVotes.com,
Basic Income Campaign
CERB and other basic income-like emergency benefits contributed to the largest 1-year reduction in poverty in nearly 50 years. Meanwhile, poverty costs Canadian taxpayers over $80B/year.
- Recent surveys from the UK and Europe showed an increase in support for a universal basic income.
- Halifax Regional Council has voted to urge the federal government to move forward with a guaranteed livable basic income in this country.
- We have updated our postcards to be more accessible for readers. Please find them attached.
PTF Election Education Outreach
- Getting the Word Out: we ask that our partner organizations spread the information of the content from BruceGreyVotes.com to the community they serve via newsletters, emails and phone calls/wellness checks, etc. and especially to those people who have challenges accessing online or phone voting systems.
- Tamarack Institute Roundtable on Getting Equity on the Political Agenda: will explore examples from across Canada on what local roundtables and equity-seeking groups are doing to get their voices heard and bring equity/social justice to the forefront as part of the democratic process. Register here for the Sept 28th online event.
Stay well, Jill