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in Southern Ontario because many people told him that the issues are being ignored because they are so far removed from Toronto.

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Red Lake, Sioux Lookout and Ignace along with several different First Nations along the way.

But there are many things in the north, which are very specific to the region, such as how the vast distances between communities make getting food a complicated and expensive process.

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Electricity costs are also higher in the north, said Balkwill, which means that someone on social assistance in Red Lake can get a $1,000 bill, and be required to pay it before social assistance will reimburse them for it.

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a lot of communities, people told me the public opinion is that only native people are poor and that all native people are poor. But in fact, two thirds of the people who are poor in the communities I visited are not native, but they are more invisible. said he and his group are taking what he learned on his trip and are attempting to bring it more to the attention of people Nike Vapormax Cookies And Cream

met with people in each of the communities who were service providers and some who were poor. I asked them two questions: how is poverty different in the north, and what do we have to do to make politicians act on it, he recalled.

Mike Balkwill works for Put Food in the Budget, a group which advocates increasing the amount of money given out by social assistance such as ODSP and Ontario Works. Earlier this month, he went on a fact finding mission where he spent nearly a week traveling to communities all over the region to talk to people living on social assistance.

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Balkwill set off to find out how different poverty issues are from the rest of the province. He arrived in Thunder Bay on July 2 and then spent the next nine days traveling to Kenora, Atikokan, Fort Frances, Nike Vapormax Explorer Pack

have 30 communities participating in our campaign, but all of them are south of Sudbury. Over the last year a recently retired executive director of ours, Kathy Campbell from Red Lake, told me is different up here, explained Balkwill.

During his fact finding mission, Balkwill said he Nike Vapormax Mens Colors found many things about poverty in Northwestern Ontario was the same as in the Toronto region, particularly how and prolonged poverty is. Many people who become impoverished stay that way for a long time and when they are able to find work it is often low paid with little job security.

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An anti poverty organization based in Toronto is making it its mission to raise awareness of the unique factors contributing to poverty in Northwestern Ontario. The campaign has already been met with some success, including a prominent column in the Toronto Star published Monday, July 28.

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pool their money to rent a taxi to go to Thunder Bay to go grocery shopping. The round trip costs over $900, said Balkwill.

´╗┐Bringing northern poverty to south's attention

was very surprised to learn that Gull Bay First Nation north of Thunder Bay has no grocery store. People have to Nike Vapormax Bred On Feet

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Racism towards First Nations people is another issue Balkwill found on his travels that was particularly acute in the north, with prejudice ranging to just under the surface in some communities to quite overt in others. Racial stereotypes and prejudice contribute to the poverty of aboriginal people, said Balkwill, but also obscures the fact there are other people struggling.

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