Poverty Task Force/United Way Community Update # 106


Dear Colleagues, 

The 2022 Municipal Elections are over! We now prepare to welcome returning and new municipal representatives to Council. We seek to renew our efforts to address poverty related issues and to welcome new representatives to contribute to the work. 

The goals remain the same as during the election debates!  People of all economic levels want:  a steady and sufficient income, a home that is safe and affordable; good health care and representatives in government that work together to improve our well-being.  

  • During the election period, we sent out 7 weekly Election Education Community Updates via email and as blog posts on our website. Number 8 will be our last one. We shall continue to send out bi-weekly Community Updates.  You can subscribe to our Community Updates via our website or email. Anyone is welcome to receive them!  
  • We have updated the information on our Poverty, Voting and Elections page to reflect the election results.  The issues that are still front and centre for the work we do remain on the page. 


electHERnow.ca Grey Bruce is a non-partisan volunteer group committed to gender balance in the municipal government.  They have provided a breakdown of women municipal representatives for each municipality. 

  • In Grey Bruce, 27% of municipal positions were held by women prior to this municipal election. As of October 24, 2022, 29% of municipal positions in Grey Bruce are held by women, whereas 51% of the Grey Bruce region’s population are women. (Source: 2021 Census Release of Population/Gender and electHERnow.ca). 
  • At the County level, 0% of Bruce County Council positions are held by women and 28% of Grey County Council positions are held by women. 
  • Per Municipality Council level, positions held by women ranged from 14% (6), 20% (3), 29% (1) 43% (4), 44% (2) to 57% (1). Not all councils have the same number of members so the ratios of men:women vary. See the breakdown of representation per municipality prepared by electHERnow.ca

AMO‘s 2022 Ontario Municipal Election website provides a running analysis of previous election results compared to 2022 election results. We have included the links to each municipalities’ election results and statistics on our Poverty, Voting and Elections page.  

  • How votes are cast continues to move to technology-based methods. In 2022, 15 out of 17 municipal governments in Grey Bruce used an internet/phone combined method. The use of mail-in ballots was used in 2 municipalities (Meaford and Chatsworth) and 1 municipality used an internet/paper combined method (Grey Highlands). 
  • Voter turnout ranged from 27.19% to 43.60% against Ontario’s average of 36%. 


We don’t have any statistics yet on diversity and representation per council. We hope to have more analysis soon. 

We encourage new Councilors to read our Community Voices’ Diversity and Inclusion of People on Low Income in municipal government.  We All Live Here (infographic) speaks to the need for more diversity and inclusion in municipal decision-making.


We have benefited from strong leadership from Bruce County and Grey County Councils, Wardens and Human Services representatives. All municipal, provincial and federal representatives are welcome to attend Poverty Task Force and Action Group meetings. Please contact Jill Umbach @ povertytaskforce@unitedwaybg.com to join.  

Recently, the City of Owen Sound passed a motion to have formal representation to the Poverty Task Force. We look forward to this formal representation and will be extending an invitation to all lower-tier municipalities to join us! 

Stay well, Jill 

Poverty Task Force/United Way Community Update # 101

Election Education # 4

Dear Colleagues, 

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: 

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

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. 
  • 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