Too much of Muskoka’s economy is seasonal. That’s according to Susan Campbell, Co-Chair of PROMPT (Poverty Reduction of Muskoka Planning Table) who says local poverty is hidden amongst the misleading signs of tourism and vacation lifestyles.

PROMPT is holding a Rural Poverty Summit at Camp Crossroads in Torrance on Lake Muskoka on May 1st and 2nd. Campbell says this summit is meant to give voices to people who experience poverty in the area, and she hopes the government and local politicians will finally listen to major concerns.

According to Campbell, seasonal workers who would normally qualify for employment insurance when off-season comes, now have to rely on Ontario Works. She also says housing statistics do not reflect the true cost of rural rental rates, and things like transportation costs and delivery charges of electricity are higher for those in rural communities. On top of that, Campbell says social isolation can have lasting negative effects on a person’s life.