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 # 93

Dear Colleagues,

While the Hanover downtown core of reopened for vehicles and pedestrians on Tuesday morning, the response to the fire that destroyed the Hanover Inn (known as The Forum) and apartments above the neighbouring stores. The good news is no lives were lost other than pets. Initially it was reported that 80 people were homeless, but the actual number is much lower. Approximately 44 people are still looking for housing support today. The stories shared speak to the traumatizing experience of the fire and the complex needs of many of the residents.

An incredible response was quickly put in place by partners and Grace United Church opened their doors to act as a response centre. By Friday, the Town had called an emergency and opened up the P&H Centre. By Sunday, this was closed due to low numbers needing a physical shelter and the opening up of more rooms at Hanover motels.

Ongoing support is happening. Check the 211 record for the latest updates on community response. People needing assistance should contact 211 or contract direct services in Hanover: 

  • Grey County Ontario Works Hanover (286 10th Street), 519-376-2208
  • YMCA Housing Hanover (Unit 7-425 10th Street), 519-364-3163 
  • CMHA Hanover (Unit 8-425 10th Street), 519-364-7788


In this final week of campaigning for the provincial election on June 2nd, we have a few highlights of upcoming events:

  • The Senior Centre Without Walls/Blue Mountains will be hosting 3 online Meet the Candidate sessions: 
    • May 24th, 11am, Selwyn Hicks, Liberal (past)
    • May 25th, 11am, Karen Gventner, NDP 
    • May 26th,11am, Rick Byers, PCOntari
  • People from BGOS & SimcoeGrey Ridings can meet the candidates by phoning in at: 1- 866-279-1594, pass code 852340#. 
  • May 25th, Meet & Greet event 5:30 – 8pm,  in-person, the Collingwood Public Library.  David Ghobrial, New Blue Party, and Rodney Sacrey of the Ontario Party will present party platforms and there will be a Q & A.
  • Ontario Association of Councils on Aging: election advocacy priority issues are health care, social participation, supportive housing and transportation. 
  • Alliance on Aging and Disability is a new coalition of disability organizations focused on keeping people with disabilities out of long-term care facilities. The Alliance has published a two-page fact sheet with clear recommendations for political parties and election candidates. They have a comparison of election promises from the major political parties here, and Community Living Ontario’s election priorities here. Community Living Ontario 2022 Election Page also provides updates. 
  • May 25th, 7-9pm, All Candidates meeting, Lakeshore United Church, Goderich hosted by Huron Chamber of Commerce, Goderich Ministerial Association and Huron Perth Association of Realtors.
  • May 26th, 7-9pm,  All Candidates meeting, Harmony Centre, Owen Sound, hosted by Climate Action Team Owen Sound (CATOS), and The Sustainability Project focused on Climate Change and the Future of our Region. The event will be streamed on Rogers Cable and will air live on RogersTV Channel 53. It will also air on May 28 at 9 p.m. and on May 30 at 5 p.m. The event will also be streamed live on The Sustainability Project’s Youtube Channel.


  • Overdose Alert: 3 overdoses in Bruce County were reported over the long weekend – all were non-fatal. Please encourage all people who use drugs to have naloxone on hand and to always use with a sober friend who can administer naloxone and call 911 in case of an overdose.  Naloxone is available at pharmacies and at the Grey Bruce Health Unit Mon-Fri, 8:30 am to 4 pm, no appointment needed.
  • SOS Mobile Outreach will be at Grace United Church, Hanover, May 25th, 12noon-4pm.


  • Bruce County Affordable Housing 101 Toolkit has been released online.
  • Read this this compelling opinion piece from the Maytree Foundation: “We can’t simply build our way out of our housing crisis.”
  • Meaford Chamber of Commerce completed a survey to Meaford businesses on workforce pressures that local businesses are facing. Housing is viewed as the top priority in terms of desired infrastructure. 83% of respondents would like to see Meaford have living accommodations that fill their workers’ needs.


  • International Menstrual Health Day,  May 28th, 10am, Owen Sound Farmers’ Market, awareness walk is being hosted by Its Personal.Period.  Menstrual health is a human right, and we need to raise awareness and open the conversation to normalize menstruation, advance menstrual equity, and end period poverty.


Stay well, Jill 

Poverty Task Force/United Way Community Update # 91

2022 Election Education Update # 2

Dear Colleagues, 

Thank you to everyone who has written or spoken with your local candidates to support a Basic Income. Please continue to ask MPP Candidates to take the Basic Income Now pledge. You can check which MPP candidates have pledged to support a Basic Income. 

The concept of a universal basic income in Canada has earned more attention over the past couple of years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). According to a study by the Angus Reid Institute earlier this year, 59% of Canadians support proposals for universal basic income programs for people earning under $30,000. 

  • Elections Ontario is mailing out voter information cards between May 12th and 20th. If you don’t receive a card, you can add or update your information to the list by May23rd and still get a card. You can support people to register here.  
  • Ways to Vote. Cyndy Wheeler, Elections ON Public Relations Officer is available to support agencies to register people. Any questions can be directed to: cyndyswheeler@gmail.com


  • Several communities are facing a very conservative voter base, including those who mistrust government
  • Plain language education/awareness-raising of party platforms and implications for low-income voters is an essential tactic along with engaging low-income residents to vote; challenge: capacity to synthesize all platforms
  • Centring people with lived/living experience – Bruce Grey’s Community Voices previously researched the platforms and brought candidates one-by-one to their table to discuss poverty-related issues with the group; Cornwall, SDG & Akwesasne’s LEAG will craft three of the all-candidate debate questions, co-hosted with the Chamber of Commerce
  • Huron County P2P and Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force are focusing on income security as the best solution to poverty-related issues, such as housing and food. Poverty Task Force shared their Basic Income Postcards.


Here are just a few opportunities, please let us know of other opportunities! 

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Riding

  • All Candidates Debate, May 18, 6:30 p.m., Kinplex in Flesherton
  • All Candidates Debate  May 19, 7 to 9:30 p.m., Keady Community Centre
  • 12-17 May 2022 – virtual All Candidate Debates hosted by justrecoverysimcoe.ca/elementor-1455

Information Session for potential municipal election candidates

  • Bruce County Municipal Election Hybrid Information Session: Bruce County Municipalities at a free information session virtually provided by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Find out everything you need to know about running for municipal office.  Thursday, June 23, 2022 – 7-9pm,in-person and virtual meeting.
  • The municipal role in housing: The four papers in this series, produced by the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance and the Urban Policy Lab, look at affordable housing, rental housing, social housing, and homelessness. They identify the ideal role of municipalities in housing policy, where municipalities currently face constraints, how other orders of government can support municipalities, and where intergovernmental cooperation is needed. Read the papers


Stay well, Jill