Grassroots women’s mayoral forum sheds light on key issues

By Mareike Brunelli

North Point DouglasOn October 8th, over 60 women gathered at the Circle of Life Thunderbird House on Treaty One territory to share their views on municipal issues and address mayoral candidates. This forum was different than any of the many mayoral forums in the Winnipeg election, and is a model to learn from in future civic engagement efforts. Continue reading

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Filed under democracy, Inner City, Winnipeg, women

Fixing our Divided City: Lessons from Youth and Elders

By Shauna MacKinnon

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 11.34.22 AMThe Winnipeg Free Press headline “A City Divided” (Oct 7, 2014) and the revelation that “75 percent of Winnipeggers believe the division between the aboriginal and non- aboriginal communities is a serious issue” doesn’t come as a surprise to those of us working in the inner-city, and it certainly won’t surprise Aboriginal people.  But it is refreshing to see that Winnipeggers are finally ready to talk about it. Continue reading

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Filed under Aboriginal issues, Inner City, poverty, racism, safety, social exclusion, Winnipeg

The First Rung on the Ladder Community-Based Literacy Programming in Public Housing Complexes

By Jim Silver

A wealth of evidence—both global and local—confirms the value of literacy, and the importance of programs that promote literacy. This is especially the case for low-income individuals and communities, for whom gains in literacy can be transformative. Continue reading

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Filed under education, Fast Facts, housing, immigration

A living wage lifts workers and the economy

By Kirsten Bernas and Lynne Fernandez

Photo: Wikipedia.org

Photo: Wikipedia.org

As of October 1st, minimum wage earners in Manitoba will earn $10.70 per hour – just over $20,800 annually. This leaves a family of four, with both parents working, with an income that is more than $1,500 below the poverty line. Single parent families are worse off with incomes more than $8,000 short. It is widely agreed that a job can be the best pathway out of poverty. But this is only true if wages meet basic needs. Continue reading

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Filed under economy, Manitoba, poverty

Terminally ill professor pleads for asbestos ban

University of Manitoba professor Patricia Martens has one more mission as an epidemiologist as she confronts her final days with a terminal disease. She wants the government to stop aiding and abetting the lethal trade in asbestos.

Martens is a prominent and distinguished research scientist in the university’s faculty of medicine. She received the Order of Canada in 2013 for her advancement of population health research and for her contributions to health policy in Manitoba. Her CV is more than 140 pages long, encapsulating a remarkable professional career. Continue reading

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Filed under environment, Government of Canada, health, WorkLife

CEO Sleep Out: Charity not Change

By Molly McCracken

Last night several dozen business leaders, politicians and high profile Winnipeggers spent a night at Portage and Main in the annual CEO Sleep Out to raise funds and awareness about poverty and homelessness. However if we as a society are actually going to end homelessness, systemic change is needed. Continue reading

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Filed under Fast Facts, housing, Inner City, Winnipeg

City hall can help jobless

While election cycles bring some community challenges to the spotlight, the work creating solutions to these complex challenges is ongoing. Winnipeg’s inner-city neighbourhoods have been quietly transforming — creating employment, reducing poverty, reversing neighbourhood decline and preventing crime.

The Merchants Corner will offer education and housing where a notorious hotel once stood; the Social Enterprise Centre is providing training and jobs to communities while improving housing stock; Neechi Commons is bringing fresh food where no other grocery store stands, along with stable and local jobs.

Community organizations have been the driver of these success stories, but they thrive with supportive governments that move the policy levers and resources at their disposal.

The Province of Manitoba has taken significant steps to work with our communities. The City of Winnipeg has not.

- Excerpt from Winnipeg Free Press Sept. 8th editorial by Kirsten Bernas and Darcy Penner of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network

View the complete editorial.

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