Kimberly Rogers Inquest: a Year Later: Has Anything Changed?

Monday, July 26 2010

Kimberly Rogers Inquest: a Year Later: Has Anything Changed?

Dec. 16, 2003 - ‘Tis the season of food drives, toy drives and charity dinners. Every year at this time thousands of people make donations to assist those in their community who are too poor to be able eat properly or purchase a small gift for their child.

“While such donations are welcome, what’s really needed are hard questions about why more than 1.6 million people in Ontario are living in poverty and why our governments are not doing anything about this harsh reality,” says Jacquie Chic – Director of Advocacy and Legal Services at the Income Security Advocacy Centre.

One of the main reasons levels of poverty in Ontario are so high is
because social assistance rates are so low. A single mother with one
child receives $957 a month. In Toronto, the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment is $1040. The consequences of the grossly inadequate social assistance are dire.

In the summer of 2001, Kimberly Rogers died in her sweltering apartment while under house arrest. Rogers was convicted of fraud for violating the rules of social assistance; she concurrently received both social assistance and a student loan.

The Coroner’s Jury that examined Rogers’ death made fourteen recommendations including reviewing the social assistance rates to reflect the real cost of living and ending the life-time ban from social assistance for those found guilty of fraud. The Coroner's Jury recommendations are available online at this pinpoint URL for your reference:

December 19 marks one year since the Jury released its recommendations. To date, only one of the recommendations has been implemented.

Please take a moment to phone the Minister's office to ask when the government plans to implement the recommendations. Here are the Toronto and toll-free numbers:

Toronto: 416-325-5225
Toll-free: 1-888-789-4199

Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC)
Centre d’action pour la sécurité du revenu
425 Adelaide Street West, 5th Floor
Toronto, ON, M5V 3C1
Tel (416) 597-5820
Fax (416) 597-5821

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