Basic income guarantee urged as Peterborough-Kawartha MP holds consultations on poverty reduction

Peterborough Examiner

The federal government could try decreasing tuition fees for students or implementing a basic income guarantee for everyone to reduce poverty, citizens said at a town hall meeting Wednesday.

About 65 people attended the town hall on poverty reduction at Mark Street United Church on Wednesday, organized and hosted by Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef.

Monsef, the Minister of Status of Women, told the crowd the federal government is looking to ease poverty - and it needs to hear from citizens.

She said she was collecting their ideas to help the government craft its new Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy.

"Poverty is a real issue in this community," Monsef said. "Town halls like this one are going to shape a strategy."

The session lasted 2 1/2 hours; people discussed ideas in small groups and also shared opinions.

About a third of the crowd - 20 people - raised their hands when Monsef asked whether anyone was living on a low income.

There were also people from city council as well as agencies such as the YWCA, the United Way and the Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network.

Many people spoke of projects they are currently working on to reduce poverty in Peterborough.

For example, the Warming Room is working with a landlord to open a new rooming house - complete with support staff - for seven people who would otherwise be homeless.

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