Kitchener-Waterloo All Candidates June 5

Jun 9 2014

First United Church was a home of yet another all-candidates session on June 5, a welcoming place for people eager to share more about social issues and for Kitchener-Waterloo riding candidates eager to hear more about the reality of their constituents. We had a privilege to be with four strong women candidates, all with their personal and professional attachment to social policy, education and income security issues. Many of the people with lived experience of struggling with housing, health and inclusion joined round table discussions and tried to listen, understand and respect different points of view. Again we saw the four values at work: equality, legacy for the future, compassion and community of voices.

Read and hear more of what was said at tables and how the candidates responded in their presentations.

Youth IMPACT All-Candidates Session June 2

Jun 5 2014

Youth Impact Session We have had a great youth team take us through the issues that matter on June 2 all-candidates session: child welfare, community infrastructure, neighbourhoods and personal safety, environment, mental health, financial stability and employment. The ages of participants ranged from 16 to 76! Huge thank you to the Family Centre and the Family and Child Services Youth Advisory Board for adding more table topics, for their precious note taking and facilitation, and for stating again that we need to look after the well-being of many generations into the future and that the time to act is now. We had seven candidates with us from three Kitchener ridings and they enjoyed listening and talking about youth and their experience.

We have prepared two fact sheets on youth issues: Education, Employment and Poverty & Independence and Belonging. Please read below the summary of notes taken at round tables and listen carefully to the responses the candidates made after the discussions.

Kitchener Centre All Candidates May28

May 29 2014

poverty free OntarioInnovative! That was the comment heard from candidates at the Kitchener Centre election event hosted by the Social Planning Council and its Poverty Free K-W partners at Mary's Place. This is often the reaction we get when political candidates, instead of being shown to a head table to prepare for the gauntlet of questions to be thrown at them, we invite them to sit with their constituents to discuss important issues in our community. What a difference from the traditional debate. How refreshing!

At the Kitchener Centre round tables on May 28th, we talked about income, housing, health, employment, transportation, energy, taxes, public services and meaningful participation. Below, you can read the summary of the discussion that took place at the tables, as well as see the presentations made by the candidates in response to the issues raised.

Balancing High Tech-High Touch, 47 Annual Meeting

May 22 2014

47th AGMRelationship building, both face-to-face and on line, seems to be even more important as we get deeper into a digital age. Join our members and guests as we explore the balance between "High Touch & High Tech" in our daily work. 47 Annual General Assembly of the Social Planning Council will be held on June 18th at the Hawk's Nest, Student Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University 75 University Avenue West in Waterloo.

Passion for Social Change and Innovation

May 14 2014

EYPC 2014Four nominated youth-led project and four SparKW winners ready to take action: BeYOUtiful, Spread the Love, Hugs for Hygiene and The Music Room. The incredible flow of ideas and energy proved again that youth are concerned with social issues. At 6 table talks held on May 13 at EPYC 2014 about poverty, the participants were unanimous that poverty elimination has to be a priority for both the education system and the governments.

Waterloo Region Settlement Services Directory Launch- June 4, 2014

May 13 2014

The launch of the new Waterloo Region Settlement Services online directory is happening on:

Wed. June 4, 2014 at The Family Centre
65 Hanson Ave, Kitchener, 1:30– 4:00 pm

We welcome agency staff and their clients to come and tour the new online directory, get a copy of the Everfresh Direct Links to support newcomers in your agency and give your feedback on your information needs. Refreshments provided.

RSVP to Maria at 519-579-1096 Ext *3009 or

All-Candidate Sessions Provincial Election 2014

May 12 2014

The Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo and its partners are pleased to invite you to the following all-candidates sessions for the June 12th provincial election. These are NOT traditional debates. In a participatory format, candidates will join in round table discussions with community members and will afterwards each be invited to give an individual presentation on the issues raised at table discussions.

New Kitchener Neighbourhoods Grant!

May 8 2014

The Safe and Healthy Community Advisory Committee is making one year cash grants for one time projects, initiatives or events that support inclusion and/or belonging within Kitchener neighbourhoods. Maximum of $2,000 per proposal for one time initiatives with ties to established community organizations and $500 for individuals or informal group! Read more on eligibility and criteria. April 1st deadline has been extended and grants are accepted on an ongoing basis in the first year!

Julia Spencer receives Social Action and Justice Award

May 7 2014

Julia SpencerWe have sponsored the Social Action and Justice Award again this year! Malcolm Waisman, our Board Director, presented the Award to Julia Spencer who has already made great impact on life in her community. We are proud to share her story and inspire youth and adults!

Message to the Candidates in Provincial Elections

May 5 2014

​Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo and its partners in Poverty Free Kitchener-Waterloo have been participating in multiple pre-budget consultations from January to March 2014 and have carefully reviewed the proposed government Budget. We have found that some of the suggestions made by our local and province wide anti-poverty networks have been heard and reflected in the budget proposal:

- Austerity is not to way to provide prosperity and security for Ontarians
- Recognition that investment in social assistance contributes to economic growth
- Income inequality needs to be addressed in Ontario
- Development of the new Poverty Reduction Strategy in partnership with local organizations and local communities

Reduction of poverty for children and adults and the trend of increase in social assistance rates and minimum wage are among the gains in dialogue with MPPs of different political stripes all around the province and we would expect all parties to support these directions.