(Region of Peel – November 4 2021) In the wake of the Federal Election and as we wait the Ontario Provincial Election & Municipal Elections in 2022, it goes without saying that conversations with all elected officials are not only long overdue but more important, real goals and objectives with actions / deliverables and solutions that our most vulnerable families can measure their quality of life against, basic income (Guaranteed basic income (GBI) is the system most people are referring to when they talk about basic income in Canada.
It is an income-contingent system, meaning monthly payments only go to families and individuals with lower income.) is just one of the measures that children, youth, & families (including our seniors) require. Canadians will no longer accept Band-Aid solutions that mask the true core issues.
Poverty, homelessness, hunger, insecurity around food and technology have been discussed to death over the past 100 years. In my opinion, we need to see Leadership that can implement real change and take that leap of faith in Canadians, our small business owners, our social service agencies and give us the opportunity now to correct the social divide not just for the next generations, but for today’s victims of a failed Government mandate.
This MUST begin with a change to a real life living wage of nothing less than $19.80/hour PT & FT, same pay for same work.
In a society of Billionaires, individuals and Corporations, it is unacceptable that we still have poverty.
Please reference: Region of Peel, Poverty in Peel – Glance at 2021.
Roundtables & Town Halls are great ways to discuss matters and bring them back to the front of the discussion and issue line.
All you have to do in 2021 is take a drive in the Toronto, Brampton, and Mississauga downtown cores and you will see as winter approaches, the increase to homelessness, shelters already full, and unlimited number of families going without food. This is unacceptable in 2021.
We as a Province and Country have the physical infrastructures already for temporary housing, the financial resources to feed our fellow Canadians, the educational systems, especially apprenticeship in trade work to educated and provide long-term meaningful skills to anyone who wants to learn and work.
At BGC Peel, every holiday season we offer a Holiday Hamper (because of great local partners) which offers food , 3 days normally worth, gifts for the kids and sometimes gift cards for mom and or dad. I can’t count the number of times I have had parents cry on my shoulder so thankful for this donation that now they don’t have to choose between which bills to pay, if they will have a holiday meal and being able to purchase a gift for their child.
One comment that I remember back to hearing when I first began at BGC Peel in 2017, that Holiday Hamper year, a father came to me after getting his food and baskets and said; “Trying to explain to my child last year that she was and always is a good girl, broke my soul, especially when she tells me that “ I guess Santa does not like me since I did not get any gifts”. Now she does not have to feel that way, at least for this Christmas.”
As a father of 3, grandfather of one (since 2019), that broke my heart and it was in that moment I committed to making sure that in my life time I would advocate and work with other to ensure that everyone within our reach will have access to the quality of life we all enjoy and experience.
We across the social service sectors look forward to having active an engaged conversations with all of our newly elected MPs and those who wish to represent us after the 2022 elections. We need results beyond conversations and have them become actionable items with deliverable outcomes in 2022 and through your next terms.
The children, youth and families deserve it, just like yours and mine.
Michael J. Gyovai
Executive Director - BGC Peel