More illegal tent sites are popping up around Kitchener this summer, spurred by a shortage of housing and rise in drug use.

“It seems like a lot more people are choosing that option without having another option to go to,” said Joe Mancini, director of The Working Centre.

While Mancini said there have always been people living in tents this time of year — he remembers it happening as far back as the 1990s — what has changed recently is that more and bigger sites are appearing.

There is a reason Darren Wiseman wants to help people.

Wiseman, a major for the Salvation Army in Huntsville, said his organization was one of more than 40 community partners that helped conduct a provincially mandated and District of Muskoka-led homeless enumeration across the region in April.

The voluntary and anonymous one-week survey uncovered 142 households, which included 52 dependent children under age 18, considered homeless based on criteria related to non-existent, temporary or substandard shelter.

And Wiseman said roughly three decades ago he would have fit the description.

The problem with the anti-poverty statement is that it includes no new poverty reduction measures: not one dollar in additional spending, no commitment to a social safety net for those currently living on the streets, no repairs to the broken employment insurance program which is unavailable to two-thirds of workers, and no mention of the near poor — the millions of people struggling to survive with barely enough.

The anti-poverty strategy is not a strategy to reduce poverty: it is a public relations vehicle that takes the CCB and bundles it with an assorted selection of spending promises — mainly for the distant future — to improve housing, add child care, increase incomes for seniors, and better life for Indigenous people.

A class action lawsuit has been filed in Lindsay court against the cancellation of the basic income pilot project

While Ontario Premier Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservative government continue their efforts to scrap the three-year basic income pilot project, a proposed class action lawsuit filed in a Lindsay court Monday claims the cancellation of the project is “negligent” and a “breach of contract.”

The federal government released Canada’s first-ever poverty reduction strategy last week, calling it a historic plan to ensure all Canadians can achieve their full potential.

The strategy lays out the goal of cutting the rate of poverty in half across the country by 2030. If it delivers on that promise, it would mean lifting more than two million Canadians out of poverty. That’s certainly a worthy goal.

The strategy basically pulls together all the government’s previously announced programs to reduce poverty. There are no new policies and no new funding commitments to improve or speed up current programs.

The government has simply pointed to its $22 billion in previously announced spending for programs, including the Canada Child Benefit, the Guaranteed Income Supplement and a tax befit for low-income workers.

The fight for basic income has moved to the courts. An intent to file a class action lawsuit against the Province for its cancellation of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot has been filed by several parties in Lindsay.

Mike Perry, a lawyer and social worker acting on behalf of the plaintiffs, notes the intent to file is for “anticipatory breach of contract, negligence, and misfeasance in public office” for the Ford government’s abrupt cancellation of the pilot program.

As food insecurity persists in the London area, it’s becoming clear it affects more than hunger.

An article published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry points to a connection between food insecurity and the use of mental health services in Ontario.

About one in eight Canadians experience food insecurity. Those who experience severe food insecurity, missing meals or even going days without eating, were much more likely to receive mental health treatment compared to food-secure adults, the article states.