Lisa Gretzky, MPP for Windsor West and NDP critic for Community and Social Services, demanded that Doug Ford take immediate action after news broke late Tuesday that Renfrew mother Bonnie Keefe had begun a hunger strike over the Ford government’s failure to provide supportive housing for her adult daughter who lives with a developmental disability.

Gretzky said Bonnie’s hunger strike has forced the crisis in supportive housing into the spotlight.

Robert Washie is furious.

He’s been upset since Wednesday, when staff at Yellowknife’s day shelter informed clients that a new policy would take effect at the end of the week.

Starting Friday, residents who have a home, a private rental or permanent living accommodations with another person will be restricted from accessing the day shelter’s services.

That apparently means people who are housed, but come to the shelter during the day for food, to socialize with friends, to make phone calls or to do laundry, will be barred from doing so.

For some people when they were growing up, it was commonplace to wait a week or so for good lunch sandwiches. At dinnertime, bowls of Kraft Dinner were a staple. An empty fridge, save for cream for coffee, was to be expected. Running out of food was normal.

Today, they probably still don’t realize, even in retrospect, that they were part of an ongoing national crisis. And yet the statistics bear it out.

Approximately 10 per cent of Canadians are forced to make the choice between having good food on the table or paying the bills. That amounts to roughly four million people, which is more than the combined population of the four Atlantic provinces. To make matters worse, one in four children and youth under 18 years of age in Canada go to bed or to school hungry.

“How many children using food banks in Canada is OK with you?” is the question posed by Food Banks Canada on the HungerCount 2018 front page.

Apparently, about one in four.

The former Gateway Shelter located at 2800 33 Street will be providing temporary beds for 20 homeless residents in just a matter of days.

Vernon city council voted to confirm their support for the BC Housing initiative at Monday’s meeting.

According to letter to council, BC Housing recently worked with Turning Points Collaborative Society to relocate the Gateway Shelter to its new location at 2804 33 Street. The move to the new location allowed Gateway to increase the number of shelter beds from 24 to 40.

Since the relocation, the former shelter site, which is owned by BC Housing, has sat vacant; but starting Nov. 1 the shelter will be available 24/7 providing the 20 beds and food services. The temporary initiative will be carried out by Turning Points Collaborative and will end March 31, 2020.

The overflow homeless shelter that started as a pilot project at Montreal’s former Royal Victoria Hospital last winter will reopen on Dec. 2, the city has confirmed.

The shelter was run by the city’s largest non-profit homeless organizations, and was open for 90 nights starting Jan. 15.

It received nearly 7,000 stays, providing a warm, safe space for people and their pets to spend the night. A shuttle was set up to ensure everybody had a ride to the 80-bed facility, located on the third floor of the 103-year-old greystone Ross Pavilion.

Ontario should stop treating people on welfare like criminals and forcing them to complete useless tasks that don’t lead to meaningful, long-term jobs, says a new report.

So-called “participation agreements” that require people on social assistance to conduct job searches and other activities, along with mandatory monthly reporting “have more in common with the corrections system than they do with the tax system or other social programs,” says the report by a University of Toronto think tank.

“The system has consistently prioritized punitive rules and mechanisms in the name of accountability and limiting beneficiaries, rather than lowering barriers to employment,” says the report by Ontario 360, an initiative of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

Last March, Red Deer was promised a $7 million, 120-bed emergency homeless shelter by the then NDP Government of Alberta.

That funding was not included in the UCP’s first budget tabled Thursday.

Mayor Tara Veer reiterated there is a need for 24/7 shelter in our city.

Kath Hoffman, executive director at Safe Harbour Society, appreciates the mayor’s comments but is nonetheless disappointed with the lack of funding.

“We’ve been trying to get the resources we need for shelter for 14 years, and the crisis that we’re experiencing right now has just stretched us beyond our capacity. The bandaid resources we’ve had to apply have fallen off,” Hoffman said.