Activists hope to sew up provincial assistance

St. Paul’s councillor Joe Mihevc is hoping to stitch together a good argument to get help from the provincial government in reducing poverty in the city.

In a public event in the rotunda at city hall on March 24, social activism group Stitching Our Own Safety displayed some 500 squares it had created for a giant quilt, each square bearing a message pertaining to shortcomings in a specific social issue.

“As the artwork indicates, poverty is complicated,” Mihevc said to the crowd of about 50, as he discussed the importance of the city taking action to address poverty. “Sometimes it’s about not having access to health care, sometimes it’s about housing, sometimes it’s about mental health supports.

“It’s all those things together and the city is an important player in understanding that poverty and how to overcome it.”

Mihevc is heading the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy, which was scheduled to be discussed at city council’s April 1–2 meeting and is expected to work in conjunction with the provincial poverty reduction strategy. He said the purpose of the motion is to have the city look at itself and ask what it’s doing to help curb poverty.

“If we as a city develop a strategy and we have our skin in the game, then that gives us a lot of moral authority to tell the province we’ve put money into this,” he said. “And if we do that as a city, then what a great role model for other levels of government.”

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Posted: Apr 7 2014 12:17 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto