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LET’S TALK ‘BIG’

- Basic Income Guarantee in the Spotlight at Public Meeting on September 21 in Fenelon Falls -

(CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES) – What’s the B.I.G. idea, and is it a realistic way to help fight poverty?

These and other questions are the focus of an upcoming public meeting organized by the Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition. ‘B.I.G.’ stands for Basic Income Guarantee, and it’s a proposal that would see the government ‘guarantee’ all individuals or families – regardless of their work status – are given a minimum annual income. Anyone earning below this minimum annual income would receive government funding to make up the difference.

Area residents can learn more about the idea at the following free event:

WHAT: Let’s Talk B.I.G. (Basic Income Guarantee) Public Meeting

WHEN: Wednesday, September 21, 1-4 pm

WHERE: Fenelon Falls Community Centre (27 Veterans Way)

WHY: Guest speaker Dr. Elaine Power, an Associate Professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, will introduce the Basic Income Guarantee. Dr. Power will look at the potential benefits and cautions of B.I.G., as well as recent developments around the idea.

Registration is appreciated, but walk-ins to the event are welcome. Free child care will be offered on site, and limited transportation to the event is also available. To find out more or to book a ride, call the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit office at (705) 324-3569, ext. 2202, or email us.

One of the organizers of the event, Kimberly Leadbeater, says discussing the Basic Income Guarantee is very timely, especially with the provincial government looking to start a pilot project in the near future to test whether a B.I.G. idea could work in Ontario.

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Elaine Power come to the City of Kawartha Lakes to share her expertise on the topic and see how B.I.G. could work in helping to address income inequality,” says Leadbeater, who is also a Registered Dietitian with the HKPR District Health Unit. “There are many points of view about the benefits and costs of the Basic Income Guarantee, and we hope to explore all sides of the issue.”

“The old ways of reducing poverty aren’t working,” adds Mike Perry, Chair of the Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition, which is co-hosting the event. “Child poverty rates haven’t gone down in more than 15 years. It’s time to look at bold, new approaches. This policy could end poverty for everyone, streamline our current social assistance programs and even grow the economy. Let’s take a closer look!”

The Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition is a community-based collaboration. Its goal is to connect residents, organizations and stakeholders in Kawartha Lakes that have an interest in the local food system – from production… to processing and distribution… through to consumption.

For media inquiries, contact:

Mike Perry, Chair, Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition, (705) 328-9853,

or Kimberly Leadbeater, Registered Dietitian, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, ext. 1275, or toll-free: 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1275.

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