8th September, 2008
Peel Region Candidates & Political Parties in the Federal Election, 2008
Peel Poverty Action Group (PPAG) is composed of community members, social service workers and organizations who care about what poverty does to people in the Region of Peel.
PPAG is asking all Peel Region candidates and political parties in the Federal Election, 2008, to make poverty an issue in this election, in campaign literature and in talks with voters.
These are among the facts about poverty in Peel Region:
More than 167,000 people in Peel Region, including children and seniors, are considered to be cash-poor. That's one in seven of Peel's 1.2 million people. And the numbers are edging toward one person in six. Of these cash-poor folk, almost 70,000 live in families where at least one member works but does not make enough to lift the family out of poverty.
Racialized communities are half of Peel's population and are more likely to be poor for many reasons, such as being new to Canada (more than 100,000 immigrated between 2001 and 2006) or not being permitted to work in the careers for which they trained;
Although most workers and employers pay into Employment Insurance, in Peel Region, only one in five gets help when they haven't got a job. The rules governing EI penalize women especially, because women tend to work fewer hours, for less money, and must balance work with family responsibilities.
In Peel Region, 13,500 households are waiting for social housing -- and those placed in subsidized housing today may have waited 10 years. Those new to the waiting list may be housed by 2020 -- the longest wait of any municipality in the province. Only 7% of applicants are placed each year.
Victims of abuse may wait three years for a safe home.
In 2007, Peel's homeless shelters housed:
There is no indication that these numbers will be lower for 2008.
In Peel this year, 168 families have children on a waiting list for special needs care. Half of these families are prepared to pay full fees, but no places are available.
As of June this year, 2,697 children are waiting for subsidized child care.
Peel Poverty Action Group invites you to use these facts in your election literature and as you meet Peel residents at meetings and on the doorstep. Over the next few weeks, PPAG will continue research into specific aspects of poverty in the Region and send its findings to you and to local social agencies, citizens groups, and others. We endorse the Campaign 2000 platform and urge you to adopt its recommendations. PPAG members would welcome a meeting with you to discuss these issues in more detail.
We hope that with your leadership, all of us concerned about poverty can reach out to a wider public and produce answers to longstanding problems of low income, housing, and childcare, among others.
On behalf of Peel Poverty Action Group