Unlimited Funding

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Unlimited Funding



Elsewhere, a poster remarked on what he would do, for himself/family, on acquiring a substantial windfall.

What, of [i]social[/i] value would [i]you[/i] do, given unlimited funding?

martin dufresne

I'd raise hell about the privilege of someone able to play God in this manner and to re-route thinking/activism about social inequalities...

[ 02 February 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

open a 24 hour day care centre for parents making less than $____________ a year


I would focus on groups that lobby the government to fund universal child care, housing, etc. It wouldn't do any good to give it to soup kitchens and charities and to open up a few day care centres with it, because those are just bandaid solutions and ultimately reinforce inequity ("Are there no soup kitchens? Are there no homeless shelters? We don't need to create housing or raise welfare rates or bring in universal day care...")

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]I would focus on groups that lobby the government to fund universal child care, housing, etc. It wouldn't do any good to give it to soup kitchens and charities and to open up a few day care centres with it, because those are just bandaid solutions and ultimately reinforce inequity ("Are there no soup kitchens? Are there no homeless shelters? We don't need to create housing or raise welfare rates or bring in universal day care...")[/b]

I respectfully disagree [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] (so says the ED of a social services based charity!!)

*note conflict of self serving interest*

Lobbying isn't an effective use of dollars.

Unless we change the public's perception of poverty, nothing will change at the government level.

How long has Campaign 2000 been working to end the clawback? It hasn't happened yet.

I've often said that we should, and our agencies should just close up shop and then the government would have to step in...but would they, can't take the risk.

I know what we fund augments services that are already in place.

I'm currently working on a committee that is/was funded by Status of Women (last grant our the door we were) that is looking at changing the grassroots attitudes towards poverty etc.

I've been waiting 22 years for a national day care program (personally) and I don't need it anymore, but I'm hoping that it will be there for my grandchildren (when they get here in what better be no sooner than 10 years).

In the meantime we need to ensure the gaps are narrowed as much as possible.


Well, I guess I shouldn't say just lobbying the government. Groups that lobby the government for social change (as opposed to creating charities that the government relies upon to bridge the gap and satisfy people that there's something out there so no change needs to happen) also try to change perceptions among people too.

OCAP is a good example of a group that really makes a difference in people's lives (look at the special diet allowance campaign they've done, where they got a substantial raise in people's benefits, clued doctors in to the fact that poverty IS a health issue, and is trying to force the government, by getting health professionals on their side and using the media to pressure them, that welfare rates MUST be raised to a living standard).

Those are the kind of groups I'd support. Not charities or food banks. I would say that they have too much invested in the status quo. If things change systemically, they all lose their jobs.

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

Most of us would gladly give up our low paid jobs if the issues went away.

There are tons of jobs in the "disease" charitable field we could all switch over to if we had no social services jobs left.

Besides the United Way of Toronto's Poverty Report got a massive amount of attention, including Queens Park, bringing light to Toronto's poverty issues and linking it to gun violence. That's lobbying!

Our Health Unit is a huge lobbyist to our upper tier regional government for poverty reduction, utilizing the Social Determinants of Health as the basis for the argument.

But our farmer father's want to play with roads, not help people out.

OCAP has done a great job, and at the same time brought attention to a loop hole that got closed. When I have clients with no doctor it's really hard to get the dietary forms filled out and signed. Our local legal clinic has a lot of cases where doctors can't be found or can't "get around" to sign in disability forms.

The additional $30 for a diabetic is no where near enough to eat properly as a diabetic.

None of the larger anti-poverty groups is looking at rural poverty, it's all urban focused.


Whoops, I meant to make it clear in that last post of mine that I wasn't attacking your motives personally, Francesca. Reading back, I can see how it might be read that way, so I thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt and not blasting me. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

I don't think all charities are bad or anything. I just judge them on how much advocacy for change they're doing. If they're doing lots, then great. If they're just being stop-gaps and enabling the status quo to continue without much comment, then I don't really consider them to be much of a help.

rural - Francesca rural - Francesca's picture

I'm not the 'blasting' type. [img]cool.gif" border="0[/img]

I certainly didn't take your post to mean that I was part of the problem, and not the solution. You raise a very vaild point.

Everyday we weigh the services we create and provide, against the perception that we're allowing the government to slack off on its responsibilities.

But when the angst settles, it is the people who I see face to face I'm concerned about.

In a lot of my committees we discuss lobbying and meeting with MPs and MPPs etc. I always want actionable items.

Yes we need to meet with these guys, but in the meantime, while we wait for a policy change, what can I do, right now, in this moment, to make a life easier.

Last August I gave out 530+ fully stocked backpacks, built age appropriate and all went out before school started. Everything was donated by the community. We parked a school bus outside of Wal Mart (love them or hate them they also gave me $2 000 cash and paid for the radio promotion - I still only shop there if I have too) and people filled it with back to school supplies.

It was truly exhausting buying all the supplies and getting the backpacks out to our agencies for distribution.

Stop-gap: yes.

Should people be paid a living wage so they could afford these supplies? Yes.

But on the other hand, it cost me $500 to get my grade 12 student ready for school this year. She needed scrubs for her co-op placement, on top of the usual stuff.

You add 2 or 3 kids to a family, and the list home from the school:

3 pairs of shoes each
gym uniform (bought from the school)
lab fees
activity fees
text book fees

And even double income working families struggle.

So we step in with a community outreach, and make sure no kid goes to school empty handed.

I was stopped in Wal Mart by a school teacher (dragging two carts full of just backpacks gave me away) and she told me the difference our program made to the children she taught.

In a sense it's an anti-bullying program.

So while we work on the ground in the moment, we do rely on, and cheer the lobbying efforts of those such as NAPO etc. We risk our charitable status if we lobby to obviously (which is why I liked having the column because if I crossed the line I wrote about it and made it personal work, not work work).

The emotional roller coaster of the backpack collection was brutal. I had a waiting list and when you have parents crying on the phone because I can't promise anything, I can only try, you feel horrible. You feel like you're just not working hard enough. Then the local women's shelter calls and they need 99 for all in residence and those in 2nd stage housing plus the outreach program.

Some days, at the end of the day, there's not a lot of 'me' left.

But when I go to the community, and I put out an appeal and tell the story of what I'm trying to do, and people respond, your heart fills.

When you hear the squeals of a 5 year old who got a Spiderman backpack, after his mother coached him on saying "Thank you even if it's yucky looking", makes it all worth while.

Yeah we let the government off the hook, but we also keep the public informed, we tackle the stereotypes head on, and we tell our stories.


From what I've been reading here I would think it extremely important to have included in the curriculum, from the start of schooling, a deliberate deemphasizing of consumerism. It surely isn't necessary to start every school year with a new backpack. I'd make it a matter of pride the number of years that students kept their same or handed-down packs.

One of the priorities with my "unlimited funding" would be a national alternate media. (sure, I know Babble exists) I had in mind something like an ad-free newspaper - daily, or twice weekly.

Not being a dictator, however benign, with the group of visionaries I had gathered around me, I would make a priority the construction of enough social housing that no homeless existed. More on this and other projects later.

West Coast Greeny

Aquire Alexander Ovechkin for the Canucks.


Social housing, and not just for the homeless - for low-wage and precarious workers as well, who are paying more than 50% of their incomes for inadequate shelter.

And of course a radically improved and intensified public transport system (trams here, and complete the blue line of the mйtro), reintroduction of trams in Quйbec and Ottawa-Gatineau and creative solutions for non-drivers in smaller centres. The latter would also involve redevelopment of town centres, as sprawl is not just a problem around large cities.

And obviously, bicycle paths everywhere! [img]cool.gif" border="0[/img]

Cross-country ski paths in wintertime?
Of course I agree with Martin and Michelle that being benevolent dictators is not the solution, but hell, I can dream.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

If I had access to unlimited funding, I'd see that lagatta got 90% of it, because her ideas are super. The other 10% I'd use for immediate needs here on the Lower North Shore, of which there are many.


Oh, I agree with that, but then we have to get the Innu communities on board, even in terms of utopian stuff.

Are they building the road to La Romaine yet? I know there are plans for an important new clinic there.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Actually, Quebec's Polaris has started the road from La Romain going west. It's very slow going, it could take quite a while to reach Kegaska. La Romaine is one of the most prosperous communities on the coast - also one of the largest - and has a full length airstrip, paved, that can accomodate almost any size aircraft other than jumbos.


Bill Abram says Canadians should want for nothing.

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8Zl1Wax8MI]The colossal theft of compounding interest by the private banking system(YouTube)[/url]


If I were a multimillionaire I would do research to find honest, competent people operating non-profits with experience in non-market based housing, women's shelters, help for AIDS orphans in other countries, rescuing child prostitutes and child soldiers. I would want to be sure that I was dealing with honest people, not liars or rip-offs. I would probably want to seek the help of reputable, experienced non-profits rather than take on big projects on my own.
For myself, I would buy a pleasant house in a quiet neighbourhood with parks nearby. Nothing huge, a 3-bedroom house with a finished basement and a good-sized backyard with lots of privacy and a high fence. I probably wouldn't travel much, but I would like to see HaidaGwaii in the summertime.