We were extremely disappointed in Council’s decision to go ahead and raise Winnipeg Transit fares rather than finding the resources to make up for the shortfall created by the province deciding to pull out of the 50/50 funding agreement elsewhere. They had other options. They have promised to study a low-income bus pass. SPCW provided such a study from 2016 to the Mayor and Council last week. Even if they simply adopted our study and passed a motion to implement a low-income bus pass immediately, it will take time to implement. The transit fare hike is set to kick in on January 1st, 2018. Nevertheless, we are urging Mayor and Council to do just that. It is really the only thing they can do to try and mitigate as much of the harm this increase/cut to people living in poverty’s monthly budget as possible. And, which no one disputes, will in the long-run really help these same people. As long as the cost is truly affordable and the qualifying bar is not set too high that is. We hope to work with Council to guard against this as they move to implementation. You can find Kate Kehler’s full comments to council here.
However, we have not given up on a better and more affordable public transit system for all. We will continue to work with Functional Transit and our coalition of over 100 partners (so many signed on that we could only fit a about a third of them on the poster) Please consider becoming a member of either or both Functional Transit and Social Planning Council to keep up to date. You can, of course, keep checking us out on facebook and on twitter.
Welcome Back! And thank you for your patience. When we first started to re-work our website, the idea was to just make it more user friendly and adaptable. We did not think we would be down this long.
Unfortunately, like all renovations, it did snowball… However, we are back and moving on!
Our new strategic framework and guiding principles can be found in our “About” section. We remain committed to community led development and supporting the sector. Please take the time to have a look at what we are currently focusing on in our “Activities and Issues” section. We have done our best to tag and link for your ease. We have only been able to backfill our historical work until 2016 but we will be adding to our virtual shelves weekly until we are once again fully stocked. The most recent was co-authored by community animator Josh Brandon for the Caledon Institute here on Manitoba’s Rent Assist program: What does an actual housing allowance look like?
We are in the process of handing over more of our publications to Manitoba Archives from 1985-2009. We will add those to the existing Archive list when ready but in the mean time, we currently have 39 linear meters of materials at the Archives from 1919 to 1984. You can see what they have here. If you are interested in accessing these please just send a request to email@example.com.
We want our website to be a useful community resource. We will maintain a community calendar of social justice events and public engagement opportunities. We will also post employment opportunities in related fields. We continue to work with partners to develop guides and toolkits such Bread and Borders. The holidays are coming and if you have that one (or more) relative that just does not quite have all the facts on refugee claimants, the Safe Third Country agreement and immigration in general, this is the toolkit for you! SPCW staff will also be contributing blogs on the issues of the day, what we are trying to do and what else might be tried.
A couple of time sensitive initiatives:
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization approached us to help out with fundraising campaign to provide and deliver Christmas gifts to kids whose mothers are in jail. It is a sad fact that the majority of women we currently have incarcerated are there due to poverty related crimes and 8 out 10 are Indigenous. Please have a look here and if you can donate please do here. Send firstname.lastname@example.org a quick email saying what you donated and you want it set aside for this campaign. We will send you a tax receipt for any donation over $20.
Finally, you just may have heard that the City is proposing some devastating cuts to Winnipeg Transit. The City’s position is that they have no choice due to the provincial government abandoning the 50/50 cost sharing of Winnipeg Transit. We have created some resources to help people understand the issues and who they can contact about it at both the City and Province. You can find these in our “Resources” section.
We are fast approaching our 100th anniversary in April 2019. We hope you will stay with us and join in those celebrations but more importantly work with us now to create a community that is sustainable, just, equitable and caring.
Kate Kehler, Executive Director