The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force and area MPPs issue feedback on provincial poverty reduction strategy

3 October 2013

Joint Media Release

The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force is calling on the Ontario government to put more resources into rural communities in its updated Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy.

The Ontario government is reviewing its Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Poverty Task Force wants to ensure that they receive feedback and ideas from people in Bruce and Grey counties.  The Task Force’s recent submission to the government’s review is a summary of voices from low-income families across both counties.

“We heard similar messages from across the community,” said Francesca Dobbyn, United Way of Grey Bruce, “Issues such as transportation, jobs, health services; and safe, affordable housing along with service gaps as most of the poverty reduction has been focused on children.”

Families responded that they had benefited from the government’s investments in Child Benefit Taxes, Student Nutrition Program, Healthy Smiles dental program, and full-day kindergarten. However, those families with dependents over 18 and middle-aged people, seniors or those almost at retirement age are not eligible for these benefits.

See the full submission report: PTF Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy Review_Submission_2 Oct 2013

The Poverty Task Force asked area MPPs for comments on the submission:

“This report is a testament to the years of neglect by this government. I and my colleagues will continue to push for rural Ontario’s fair share through our policy proposals that include fresh food for local food banks, lower energy bills, and a fair share of the gas tax for rural residents so we can invest in transportation and ensure our communities are sustainable over the long-term.”
– Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce

“The gas tax is the most persistent anti-rural policy of the last decade. We want immediate action from this government to allocate a fair portion of the gas tax to all rural communities so we can meet our transportation and infrastructure needs. Rural Ontario has an enormous opportunity for growth, and so the sooner this government starts supporting our policies, the sooner we will ignite a comeback for rural communities.”
– Bill Walker, MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

The Poverty Task Force, a group of agencies and grassroots groups across Grey and Bruce Counties have joined together to address issues of poverty.

For more information on the Poverty Task Force please contact Francesca Dobbyn at 519 376 1560

For MPP Lisa Thompson please call 519-396-3007 or 416-325-3467

For MPP Bill Walker please call 519-371-2421 or 416-325-6242





New critic roles for MPPs Walker, Thompson

Monday, September 30, 2013 10:49:18 EDT AM

Local MPPs Bill Walker and Lisa Thompson have been given new roles in Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s shadow cabinet.

Walker, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound’s PC MPP, is now critic for children and youth services. Thompson, Huron-Bruce’s PC MPP, takes on the critic role for small business, red tape and the Green Energy Act.

Meanwhile, veteran Simcoe-Grey PC MPP Jim Wilson stays on as the official opposition’s house leader.

Hudak, who survived a leadership challenge earlier this month, announced a major shuffle of his shadow cabinet Monday. A provincial election is expected as early as next spring.

Prior to the shuffle, Walker had served as deputy health critic for rural and northern Ontario, while Thompson had been deputy energy critic with a focus on the controversial Green Energy Act.