This week COP27 Conference has started with strong language around climate change and our survival on this planet. The head of the United Nations declaring a lack of progress that has the world speeding down a “highway to climate hell” in a “cooperate or perish” situation.
There’s an increasingly well-established link between climate and issues of poverty/equity. Governments must address this problem by enacting transformative policies that address the root causes of climate change and income insecurity.
- Green Resilience Project: released a 2022 Canadian report Conversations on climate change, income security and community resilience From these conversations, people in Canada, especially those experiencing income insecurity or other forms of financial instability, stated that they are increasingly exposed to climate impacts but are often unable to participate in climate solutions due to systemic barriers. The project team developed 4 recommendations:
- Incorporate basic income into Canada’s plan for a just transition.
- Design income security and climate policy solutions to focus on improving individual and collective quality of life.
- Empower people and communities with the tools and resources they need to build or strengthen resilience
- Ensure that corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share
- Recently the North Bruce Peninsula Climate Action Plan team evaluated the potential equity impacts of their Climate Action Plan in North Bruce Peninsula.
- Tamarack Institute has formed a Community Climate Transitions network around the themes of resident-led and partnership-based approaches to climate transition, centering equity and justice in climate work. Organizations and individuals can join their network.
- Voices at COP27 include Canadian Indigenous Youth who are real superheroes. They have a place at the negotiation table with heads of governments and an opportunity to speak their demands.
- Canada’s Changing Climate Report 2019 chapter about the Prairies notes that climate change may exacerbate social inequities, specifically identifying Indigenous people as one of the groups that may be more vulnerable. The Prairie section also says that Indigenous knowledge is of “tremendous value” for climate science and adaptation planning.
- Other subsequent reports include Health in a Changing Climate 2022 with a chapter on Climate Change and Health Equity.
- More Homes Built Faster Act, Bill 23: was introduced as part of the province’s plan to address the housing crisis by building 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years. Opposition to the Bill says it will greatly reduce environmental protection for wetlands, woodlands and other sensitive green spaces, and prohibit conservation authorities from protecting these areas. It is argued that what is needed to address the housing and climate change crisis is well-designed, low-cost family homes and climate friendly communities supported by transit.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
- Grey Bruce Local Immigration Partnership: is seeking volunteers to take part in a study on experiences of discrimination in Grey and Bruce Counties. The results of this survey will aim to inform programs to help the community become more inclusive. Learn more and register at https://lnkd.in/gx4m5dqK
- Food Secure Canada, the People’s Food Institute (PFI) and the Walmart Foundation have launched the Indigenous and Black Peoples’ Food Sovereignty Planning Initiative (IBPFS). This initiative hopes to contribute to shifting power dynamics and learning on how to address structural and systemic barriers that undermine and prevent Black and Indigenous communities from realizing improved health, well-being and food sovereignty. For more info: contact Afua Asantewaa, Project Lead, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Living Wage Week: The United Way of Bruce Grey and the Ontario Living Wage Network will release the 2022 rate on November 14th. We shall be discussing the calculation at our next Poverty Task Force meeting on Friday, November 18th.
- Student Loan Interest: the federal government has announced it will extend its pandemic pause on federal student loan interest in an effort to reduce some of the current financial pressures on young Canadians as the cost of living rises. Interest rates will still apply on the provincial portion of a student’s loan.
- Tax Increase Relief Program: Grey County passed a bylaw in May 2021 to provide relief from tax increases to relieve financial hardship for seniors with low-income and disabled people. Each municipality has forms to make applications.
HOUSING AND FOOD SUPPORT
- Safe N Sound Winter Hours: will be extended until 10pm and be open on weekends thanks to funding from the City of Owen Sound and Grey County Housing effective November 20th.
- Grey Bruce Community Garden Network: Simona Freiburg presented a growing season year end report to members of the Food Security Action Group. Tremendous contributions of fresh produce were donated to community meal programs, food banks and the Meaford Community Fridge.
- FoodBruceGrey.com continues to track the increase in numbers of people using community meal programs and food banks as well as foodrescue and community gardens contributions.
On this Remembrance Day, November 11th, 2022 we remember those who have fought for peace and the protection of our country.
Stay well, Jill