While premiers and territorial leaders meet in Saskatchewan today to discuss the well-being of Indigenous children, youth and families, a new report released today co-authored by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) says First Nations children experience the highest levels of poverty in Canada.

“Canada is not tracking First Nations poverty on-reserve so we did,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “The findings of this report are shameful and underscore the urgent need to invest in First Nations children, families and communities. Our children face the worst social and economic conditions in the country. They deserve an opportunity to succeed. Canada has not been tracking poverty on-reserve and that’s one reason the situation is not improving. We need a combination of political will, action, cooperation among governments and sustainable investments in water, infrastructure, housing and education to help First Nations children succeed and get a fair start in life. It’s beneficial to all Canadians to close the gap in quality of life between First Nations and Canada.”

Build more housing or we will establish a tent city in the Tri-Cities.

That was the message from a group of protestors who crashed a Homelessness Task Group meeting Friday morning in Port Coquitlam, shouting “You talk, we die” and “Support homeless leadership.”

“Homeless people are dying in the streets of the Tri-Cities,” Alliance Against Displacement (ADD) organizer Isabel Krupp shouted at task group members, which included Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam MP Ron McKinnon and several city councillors. “[Homeless people] are taking this into their own hands, trying to set up a tent city, a space where they can be together and help each other survive so they are not dying.”

On the heels of getting the Ontario government to back down from retroactive funding cuts to municipalities, the mayors of Peel Region want Premier Doug Ford to reverse another cut: those that affect legal aid services in Ontario.

In a joint letter with Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson and Peel Regional Chair Nando Iannicca, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and his colleagues formally requested that Ford and his newly appointed Attorney General Doug Downey restore the funding cuts, citing a motion that was passed at regional council.

Copies of the letter were also sent to all of Brampton and Mississauga’s MPs and MPP.

I am happy to see Basic Income Guarantee being discussed again. Premier Dennis King and MLA Ernie Hudson (Minister of Social Development and Housing) said there will not be funding to study this issue. I agree that it needs no funding for study. It has been studied and if it is implemented here, it can follow the plan which the Liberals put into action in Ontario. Secure Income will be implemented without study is what I understood from The Guardian article on July 3rd. In many letters, I have said and again, the four Liberal MP’s should hang their heads for not leading the way for a provincial pilot project of Basic Income Guarantee.

Several dozen people are now camping on municipal property after the Warming Room homeless shelter in Peterborough abruptly closed on Sunday.

According to Warming Room director Christian Harvey, the shelter was unable to renew its lease at the Murray Street Baptist Church after a five-year deal expired. The closure saw about 40 people forced to pack their belongings and leave the building on Sunday.

While advancements are being made to eliminate chronic homelessness, Peterborough still faces a tough rental market, high housing prices and low incomes — challenges which have continued to persist.

2019 marks the halfway mark for Peterborough’s housing and homelessness plan, which hopes to result in an end to chronic homelessness within six years.

Rebecca Morgan Quin, manager of housing with the city, says the city has been working to prevent homelessness and resources have been put into diversion to make sure vulnerable people don’t end up in shelters.

I’m not a lawyer — I’m a doctor. But I was near stunned by the announcement of deep cuts to Ontario’s legal aid system.

I have worked closely with legal aid clinics and legal aid-funded practitioners for more than a decade, to improve the health of my patients and of our society.

Many of my patients have legal needs that require expert intervention to maintain their social and medical stability. This is not news. Almost every doctor is asked to help their patients navigate the legal system, for issues ranging from family discord to accessing disability supports.