Does Poverty
Exist in Peel?
Adaoma Patterson
Specialist – Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy
The Short Answer is Yes
Today’s presentation will address:
1. Peel’s population – growth, immigrants, income
2. Peel’s low-income population – who is most
vulnerable
3. The Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy Committee
4. Peel’s first poverty reduction strategy
5. Feedback on the issues
Peel’s Population
Peel’s Population
Peel’s Growth vs Other Regions
Population Percentage Change
2001 - 2006
Immigrant Population 2006 – percentage of
total population by Census Tract
Recent Immigrants Population by Census
Tract - 2006
Average Individual Income – 15 years &
over by Census Tract
Incidence of Low-income by
Dissemination Areas
Who is most impacted by poverty?
Specific Challenges
•
•
•
•
•
Lack of affordable housing
High youth unemployment rate
Rapid population growth
Outdated provincial funding formulas
Municipal governments doing more
Peel Poverty Reduction
Strategy Committee
“No single idea is the silver bullet that will end poverty”
What is the Peel Poverty Reduction
Strategy Committee?
The Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy Committee was formed in response to the Province of Ontario’s
announcement about the creation of a province wide poverty reduction strategy and to growing and critical
issue of poverty in Peel.
Co-chaired by United Way of Peel Region and the Region of Peel, the Committee is addressing the growing
and critical issue of poverty in Peel and has aligned its work with the Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy,
Breaking the Cycle and is building on the Region of Peel’s 2005 Strategic Review of Poverty to create a regional
strategy that addresses the root causes of poverty in Peel.
Partners include:
•905 Interfaith Coalition
•Brampton-Mississauga District Labour Council
•Caledon Community Services
•City of Brampton
•City of Mississauga
•Regional Councillor Allan Thompson
•Success by 6 Peel
•United Way of Peel Region
•Fair Share Peel
•Mississauga Community Legal Clinic
•Peel District School Board
•Peel Newcomer Strategy Group
•Peel Poverty Action Group
•Region of Peel
•Social Planning Council of Peel
History
2005
Strategic Review of
Poverty
•Advocacy with senior levels of
government
•Collaborate on new social and
labour market programs
•Joint supports for
neighbourhood capacity
building
Regional Council directed staff
to engage with community
organizations to develop an
action plan to mitigate the
impact and reduce rate of
poverty in Peel
•Report back with
recommendations in 2006
2005 - 2008
Initiatives that Impact
Poverty
Since the Review, these initiatives
have begun:
•Community Investment Strategy
•Families First
•The Peel Regional Task Force on
Homelessness
•Neighbourhood Capacity Support
Strategy
•Peel Newcomer Strategy Group
•Peel Youth Violence Prevention
Strategy
•Regional Diversity Roundtable
•Success by 6 Peel
•Peel Children and Youth Initiative
•211
2007
Provincial Focus on
Poverty
Provincial government
announces Minister of
Children & Youth Deb
Matthews will be taking
the lead to develop a
comprehensive child
provincial poverty
reduction strategy
2008
Peel Provincial Poverty
Strategy
Committee
United Way Peel Region &
Region of Peel created this
committee to ensure Peel’s
voice was included in the
provincial consultations and
decisions about investments
Initial focus included:
•Respond to issues related to
poverty in Peel
•Present and respond to the
provincial and federal
governments’ consultations
and recommendations
•Engage the community to
get input on ways of
reducing poverty in Peel
•Ensure poverty remains on
the political agenda
Campaigns
Sample Responses to Poverty in Peel
Community
Investment
Strategy
Neighbourhood
Strategies
Families First
Peel
Poverty
Reduction
Strategy
Peel Children &
Youth Initiative
Peel Newcomer
Strategy Group
Affordable
Housing
Chapelview &
Peel Youth
Village
Working Towards a Peel Wide Poverty
Reduction Strategy
Launch
Strategy May 2012
Create opportunities to engage nontraditional partners:
Boards of Trade, Unions, SME’s,
corporations & people living in poverty
Map & align with other strategic initiatives:
•Peel Children & Youth Initiative
•Peel Newcomer Strategy Group
•Long-term Housing & Homelessness Strategy,
Economic Opportunities
Defining the problem:
•
Income disparities – widening gap between the top and bottom earners
•
Unequal opportunities – a large pool of skilled people who are unemployed or underemployed, and in particular
skilled immigrants
•
Changing nature of work - increase in lower paying service jobs that provide limited opportunities for higher
earnings, job security and benefits
•
Skills mismatch - many employers indicate that they struggle to find employees that have the skills required for their
businesses, yet there is a large pool of unemployed/underemployed skilled workers
What does prosperity look like:
•
All Peel residents working full-time full year have sufficient income to meet their needs
•
Peel residents are able to secure good quality jobs that pay a reasonable wage
•
Employers are thriving and contributing positively to our community
•
Residents have sufficient incomes to support local businesses
Actions:
•
Work with relevant stakeholders to create awareness about the impact of precarious employment on Peel residents
and the community.
•
Develop a business case for addressing poverty in Peel.
•
Develop an initiative that connects families and individuals experiencing low-income to tax credits and programs for
which they are eligible. (Make Tax Time Pay model)
Income Security – OW, ODSP, EI
Defining the problem:
•
Inadequate supports - for those outside of the labour market/labour force, help to move forward and achieve goals
is often limited
•
Siloed - systems do no align and support people in moving from one to the other
•
A last resort – social assistance requires people to exhaust all of their savings and some assets in order to qualify
•
Complex - rules are complicated and various program rules often conflict
•
Disincentives & barriers - the current systems are punitive and do not provide incentives for transitioning to work.
What does prosperity look like:
•
A seamless connected system that supports people in time of need, treats people with dignity and respect.
•
Income support programs that provide Peel residents with adequate supports and opportunities to participate in
their communities.
Actions:
•
Ensure Peel’s perspective is included in the provincial review of social assistance and advocate for changes that result
in the vision.
•
Create a roundtable that engages Peel’s business community in the discussion and solutions.
•
Develop a guide that helps people understand benefits and requirements of all income security programs.
•
Encourage local income security systems to convene a table aimed at increased communication, improved client
service and providing more seamless service.
Affordable & Accessible Transit
Defining the issue:
•
Limited regional transit – inter/intra transit connections within Peel and GTA are limited
•
High cost – continued increase in fares makes transit an expensive option for people living in poverty
•
Unavailable - no public transit system in Caledon
•
Limited subsidies - subsidies currently exist only for seniors and students; youth not in school, the working poor are
not eligible for the subsidy
•
Limited access - eligibility restrictions to existing accessible programs (i.e. TransHelp)
What does prosperity look like:
•
Transit systems that enable people to move around Peel and the GTA in an efficient and affordable manner
Actions:
•
Convene a transit working group with area municipalities to develop affordable transit programs.
•
Partner with local grocer to create a free or discounted pick-up & drop-off program to their store
Food Security
Defining the problem:
•
Inaccessible - high and increasing cost of healthy food
•
Unequal – inconsistent supply and quality at food banks across the Region
•
Expanded definition – need to increase community/public space for food production
What does prosperity look like:
•
A region where everyone, at all times, has physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to
meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
Actions:
•
Work with partners to increase the number of breakfast & food programs in schools.
•
Promote partnerships and programs that support rural-urban food links and the availability of locally grown, healthy
foods through the Farmer’s Market and other rural-urban initiatives.
•
Create a Peel food charter that articulates Peel’s commitment to creating a community with sufficient access to food.
•
Work with partners to increase the number of affordable farmers markets in Peel.
“Anyone who is working should not go home (at the end
of the day) and still be living in poverty…100 years
ago, we decided as a society that we did not want kids
working in our factories; we made a values decision
and the economic system did not crash…for too long
we’ve allowed our economics to drive our values – our
values should drive our economics.”
Mark Chamberlain, President President Trivaris Ltd., and former Chair of
the Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction
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References
• Louay Eskandar, GIS Mapping Specialist, ROP
• Andre Lyn, Researcher, Social Planning Council of Peel
• Simon Black, York University
Web-sites
• http://unitedwaypeel.org/pics/2011/materials/Portaits-of-Peel-2011.pdf
• www.peelcounts.ca
• www.unitedwaypeel.org/poverty
• www.peelregion.ca
Investing for Resilience
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Sample Responses to Poverty in Peel - CITY