Kirwan Says We Must Provide A Better Quality of Life
For Those In Need


Date:                     October 2, 2014

To:                        Media

From:                    Robert Kirwan
                             Candidate for Councillor of Ward 5

Re:                        Kirwan Feels More Must Be Done For The Poor

I will be proposing a plan to City Council that will provide people living in our housing developments with low-income and on social assistance a chance to improve their quality of life and give them a renewed sense of pride and dignity as parents. This will also allow them to reduce the stigma that their children feel when they know that they do not have the money to do the things that other families get to do together.

We owe it to residents who are struggling on minimum wage and who are trying their best to provide for their children. Their children go to school with others who come from families that are much better off financially and these young boys and girls feel the pain of knowing that they canít enjoy the same kind of lifestyle that they hear their friends speaking about in class and at recess. Parents are also struggling to meet the demands for extra money for pizza days, field trips, etc. and their children do not understand just how tight the budget is. Parents often have to do without lunch themselves so that they can save their children from embarrassment.

The City of Greater Sudbury cannot do much to increase the minimum wage or the hours of work for full and part-time positions occupied by some of our residents. Nor can we do much about increasing social assistance payments. But we can do several things that will allow these citizens to make their meagre resources go farther and give them more money for food and other necessities for their children.

I will be proposing the following for all adult residents living anywhere in the City of Greater Sudbury who verify that their taxable income is less than $20,000 per year:

  1. They will be given free; unlimited bus passes for themselves and their children so that they can put the money that they have been spending on bus fare towards other basic necessities of life. It will also give people an opportunity to use the bus if they have not been able to do so for financial reasons up until now.
  2. They will be given free family season passes to Science North and Dynamic Earth, as well as free family passes to public skating sessions at municipal arenas and free family passes to public swimming at municipal pools so that they will be able to feel the pride and dignity of other parents who have the financial means to spend time in family-focussed activities around the city. As it stands now, most people living on low incomes simply do not have the extra money to bring their children to activities such as these and they feel the shame and stigma that comes with being unable to give their children what all the other kids take for granted.

These measures will cost the City of Greater Sudbury next to nothing. The buses are not running at full capacity most of the day and so there is space to accommodate the people who require the transit to get to and from work. The passes to Science North and Dynamic Earth will cost nothing since there is always space for more visitors. And the passes to public skating and swimming will cost nothing.

What these simple gestures will do, however, is provide a significant amount of extra cash for parents so that they can buy that extra food for their children or they will not have to disappoint their children when they come home asking for a few dollars for a class field trip. This will help children avoid the stigma that comes with poverty and it will make parents feel a bit of dignity and pride at being able to provide for their children.

They will also be able to spend quality time with their children at Science North and Dynamic Earth, and going skating and swimming, just like all other families. We have a responsibility to the citizens of this city who are struggling financially. These are things we can do that are low-cost to the city but of such tremendous value to the parents and children who need our help the most.






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