Ontario Election_June 12th_All Candidates Events Listing

Poverty Reduction is a key election issue. Our Ontario government is legislated to develop a poverty reduction strategy every 5 years regardless of which party is in power.

So it is important that candidates can speak and act on poverty issues.  Please find below a list of dates and locations for many of our local All-Candidate events. 

Please  find attached 2 flyers with information and questions to ask your candidates regarding Income Security and Affordable Housing.  Please feel free to use these flyers, photocopy them and circulate them.

Poverty Task Force_Election flyer_Housing questions

Poverty Task Force_Election flyer_Wage questions

The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force shall be attending the below meetings and we encourage all members to ask questions!

Tuesday, May 27th, 7 pm, Keady Community Centre, Keady ON  The Bruce & Grey Federations of Agriculture, is having an All-Candidates event with a focus on Agricultural issues.

Thursday, May 29th, 7pm, On Roger Cable Network. Rogers Cable is holding a live All-Candidates event on TV for Bruce Grey Owen Sound riding.

They will take questions by phone from watchers, which will be moderated by Roger’s staff. Anyone watching can use our questions or their own and phone them in.

Tuesday, June 3rd, 6pm, Bayshore Community Centre, 900 3 Ave E, Owen Sound The Owen Sound Chamber of Commerce is holding an All-Candidates event with a focus on business issues.

The Chamber of Commerce shall be posing questions to the candidates prior to the event. The responses to the questions shall be published in the Make It Your Business newspaper on June 3rd.  The public shall be selected through a lottery to ask questions at this event.

Friday, June 6th, 7pm, St. George’s Anglican Church, Owen Sound The Women’s Centre, Grey and Bruce, is having an All-Candidates event with a focus on Social Justice issues.

The Community Action Committee of the Women’s Centre Board is organizing this event.  We are still confirming the process for asking questions at this event.

Deb Matthews announces plans for higher wages for personal support workers

By:  Queen’s Park Bureau, Published on Mon Jan 27 2014

Ontarians will get a “patient advocate” to help them when the health care system has stumbled and personal support workers — who aid the ill and seniors — can expect better wages, Health Minister Deb Matthews said Monday.

“When PSWs tell me they can make more at Tim Hortons, I sit up and take notice,” Matthews said after a luncheon speech to the Empire Club of Canada.

But she warned it will take time to implement both plans, particularly more help for personal support workers, experience a 60 per cent turnover rate as they look for jobs that pay more.

“To tackle a challenge this significant will take time. It won’t happen overnight, especially in the face of a tight health budget and growing demands for care.”

The minimum wage for personal support workers is $12.50 an hour — more than the provincial minimum wage of $10.25 hourly — and that has not changed for several years, Matthews said, calling PSWs the “angels” of the health care system and suggesting consultations will be held with agencies employing them.

“There are ways to do it. I look forward to working with our partners and figure out the best way to do it . . . so they can continue doing the work they love, particularly caring for elderly people.”

PSWs protested for better treatment at Queen’s Park late last year.

Personal support workers have complained they are treated like cheap labour for doing a valuable job in the home care system, helping to keep people out of hospitals or nursing homes and saving taxpayers money.

Plans are in the works to set up a patient advocate’s office to set standards for dealing with complaints in a “clear, structured and consistent way, right across the health care system, and responding to those complaints.”

This would be in addition to complaint processes at local hospitals, for example, Matthews said, promising to consult with health care providers on how to structure the office.

The move comes after years of pressure from Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin for power to investigate hospitals.

Matthews said the health ministry is also working with family doctors to make more same-day and next-day appointments available for patients when they become ill and need treatment — a category of health care proficiency in which Canada lags other countries.

“If people don’t get that access they’ll go to emergency rooms,” Matthews said.

Family doctors are being encouraged to leave space every day in their appointment books for patients needing help on short notice, she added.