Media Releases

An archive of Community Development Halton media releases dating back to 1999.

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Economic Progress Blemished by Health and Environmental Concerns

June 22, 2000 -- The quality of life in Halton has risen, according to the latest figures from the Quality of Life Index (QLI), published by the Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre. But the Council warns that progress on the economic and social front is being undermined by worsening health and environmental problems. 

This is the third in a series on The Quality of Life in Halton, which is published by the Council as part of a province-wide initiative. The Council uses the QLI to monitor changes in social, economic, health and environmental conditions that affect the quality of life in our communities. The latest figures show that the 1999 QLI has risen to 94.3, up from 85.2 in 1998. The QLI remains below the benchmark of 100 established in 1990.

While there is good news from the economic and social indicators, the health indicators continue to lag behind, led by the continuation of large waiting lists for long term care beds. The environmental indicators have been a fairly positive component of the Halton QLI during the 1990s, although the recent trend in declining air quality is troubling. With all the recent attention given to the quality of the environment, this area bears close monitoring. 

There has been progress in some areas - lower rates of bankruptcies, fewer toxic spills, fewer low birth weight babies and reduced unemployment. There also have been setbacks - poorer air quality, more elderly waiting for long term care placements and continuing high, yet declining, social assistance caseloads. While there is reason for celebrating our progress, we must also renew our efforts to address the areas in which we have setbacks. 

"We have seen strong economic growth in Halton, as well as some recovery in our social deficit," said Ted Hildebrandt, Senior Social Planner at the Council and author of the Halton report. "However, health and environmental issues will continue to be at the forefront of public debate. Our quality of life in Halton will not advance in the 21st century unless we solve these problems."

Full report

The report is also available by contacting the office.


For More Information Contact:

Ted Hildebrandt, Senior Planner
Community Development Halton
860 Harrington Court, Burlington, ON L7N 3N4
Tel: 905-632-1975, 905-878-0955
FAX: 905-632-0778
Email: office@cdhalton.ca

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United Church Moderator To Address The Moral Crisis of Our Economy

June 19, 2000- Glynis Maxwell wants to create a people-centred economy. Maxwell, Coordinator of IDEA Burlington, a local interfaith organization, has seen a decline in economic and social conditions in developing countries in recent years.

"We are now seeing this decline in Canada as well," she worries. "As a society we have turned our back on the principle that the economy should serve the needs of people not the reverse."

IDEA Burlington is working with other local groups to help people think critically about the economy. They hope a visit of United Church Moderator Bill Phipps will help.

Phipps recently led a two year cross-Canada consultation on faith and the economy.
"We must return to a time where a caring economy is seen, not as a fiscal nightmare, but rather as a guiding light," he concluded.

The Halton Social Justice Coalition's Brenda Dolling agrees that ethics are losing out in market economy. She thinks Phipps is someone to be listened to.

"He has spent the last two years analyzing the economy in terms of how it serves people. Bill Phipps is a theologian who challenges people to really think."

God and the Market: Steps towards a Moral Economy, a book published by the United Church, summarizes the consultation and documents Canadians' desire to reconnect their faith with their economic lives. Edited by Ted Reeve, with an introduction by Phipps, the book will be available following Phipps' speech, according to Doug Simpson a Board Member with the Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre. Simpson explains that the Council supports the exchange of ideas where the complex interrelationships between social and economic issues are examined critically. We welcome the insights that Phipps and the faith community brings to these issues.

Rev. Peter Hoyle, Chair of the ecumenical group the Interchurch Council of Burlington, hopes people will attend. "Bill Phipps has been called and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be a prophet talking to us about poverty and oppression," Hoyle declares.

Phipps presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. at St. Volodymyr Cultural Centre on Monday, June 26th. St. Volodymyr is located in Oakville at 1280 Dundas Street West (Highway 5 and 4th Line).

Further information is available from the Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre at (905) 632-1975.

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June 14, 2000 - Bill Phipps believes we have a "moral crisis" in the country. And he is talking about the economy.

"The economy is the way we love one another collectively."

Halton residents will have the opportunity to hear the United Church Moderator on the evening of Monday, June 26th at St. Volodymyr Cultural Centre in Oakville. His presentation is entitled - "A Moral Crisis: False Gods in the Marketplace."

For two years Phipps has led a Moderator's Consultation on Faith and the Economy. The process culminated in a session held this past April on Parliament Hill and televised nationally.

Phipps' presentation will be particularly relevant in the context of the recent increase in child poverty, poverty among adults, homelessness, and economic disparity that are evident in Halton and across Canada. It is his belief that the church has a "prophetic and pastoral" mission to speak out on these issues and publicly challenge the morality of the marketplace.

The evening is sponsored by the Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre, the Halton Social Justice Coalition, Interfaith Development Education Association (IDEA) and the InterChurch Council of Burlington.

Phipps will speak at 7:30 p.m. St. Volodymyr is located at 1280 Dundas Street West (Highway 5 at 4th Line). Refreshments will be provided at 7:00 p.m. Further information is available from the Halton Social Planning Council at 632-1975

Contact Joey Edwardh (905-632-1975) at the Halton Social Planning and Volunteer Centre for more information.


BACKGROUNDER

About Bill Phipps:

Bill Phipps is Moderator of the United Church of Canada. Born in Toronto in 1942, the 57-year Phipps was training as a lawyer before he entered theological school. He was ordained in 1969 and one year later was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Phipps has worked as a poverty lawyer, a pastor, community organizer, hospital chaplain and as an adult educator. From 1974-83 Phipps was Minister at Trinity - St. Paul's United in downtown Toronto. He then served 10 years in an administrative position as Executive Secretary with the United Church's Alberta and Northwest Conference. Phipps has been a minister at Scarboro United Church in Calgary since 1993.

Married to writer Carolyn Pogue, the Phipps have three adult children.

About the sponsors:

Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre is a non-profit organization dedicated to social planning within the communities of the Regional Municipality of Halton (Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills). HSPC & VC also operates a volunteer centre which promotes volunteerism within Halton. HSPC & VC will hold its annual meeting on June 26th prior to Rev. Phipps' address.

Contact: Dr. Joey Edwardh 905-632-1975

The Halton Social Justice Coalition is a coalition of individuals and organizations devoted to raising awareness and responding to social justice issues within Halton. It has sponsored similar events in the past.

Contact: Ms. Brenda Dolling 905-332-2272

Interfaith Development Education Association (IDEA) is an interfaith organization that promotes peace and justice locally and globally.

Contact: Ms. Glynis Maxwell 905-637-3110

Interchurch Council of Burlington is an ecumenical church organization devoted to cooperation among various churches and denominations within Burlington.

Contact: Rev. Peter Hoyle 905-637-2942

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"Demography, the study of human populations, is the most powerful and most underutilized tool we have to understand the past and to foretell the future.  Demographics play a pivotal role in the economic and social life of our country...

Anyone involved in planning for the future needs to understand demographics. Thats true whether youre planning your own personal future or that of a school system, a hospital, a chain of restaurants, or a multinational corporation. It is simply not possible to do any competent planning without a knowledge of demographics..." (Foot and Stoffman, Boom Bust and Echo 2000, 1999, pp.8-9)

September 29, 1999 = The Halton Social Profile 1999 provides an extensive demographic description of Halton and its four municipalities. This information is essential to the strategic planning purposes of all agencies and groups throughout Halton. It is a tool that allows an agency to view demographic and socio-economic shifts through past decades, to the present and into the future. The shifts influence needs and demands. To be conscious of these changes allows for the development or evaluation of effective and appropriate programs and actions that will enhance human well-being. The profile is very useful to service providers, funders, planners, the not-for-profit sector and the private sector.

Did you know?

  • Haltons population grew 25% from 271,390 in 1986 to 339,880 in 1996. Compared with Ontario, which grew 18% over the same ten-year period, Haltons population expanded at a faster rate.
  • The population of Halton Region is expected to grow to 538,000 persons by the year 2016. This is a 58% increase, 198,125 more persons than in 1996.  Predicted new urban development on the fringe of existing areas is expected to cause a rapid increase in the population.
  • Similar to the rest of the country, the population in Halton is aging. Over two decades between 1996 and 2016, the number of Halton residents who are 65 or older is expected to increase 125%. By 2016, it is expected that 16% of Haltons population will be within this age group compared to 11% in 1996.
  • The average family income in Halton increased from $51,321 in 1985 to $79,930 in 1995. The average family income in Halton is much higher than that of Ontario, where the average family income in 1995 is $59,830.
  • The percentage of low income families in Halton rose from 5.3% in 1990 to 7.5% in 1995. This figure is lower than the 14.8% of low income families in the Province of Ontario in 1995. The number of low income families in Halton increased by 3,165 families over the ten-year period from 3,975 families in 1985 to 7,140 families in 1995 an increase of 125.6%
  • The immigrant population increased from 62,320 persons in 1986 to 76,290 in 1996. This is an increase of 22.4%. However, the total population in Halton increased at a faster rate of 25.2%. Therefore, the proportion of immigrants within the total population decreased slightly over the ten years from 23.1% in 1986 to 22.6% in 1996.

 


To order a copy of the profile or for more information please contact the Council at (905) 632-1975 or 878-0955.

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Our quality of life has still not returned to that of 1990

June 30, 1999 -- The Quality of Life in Halton has improved in 1998 over previous years, but it has not fully recovered from the difficulties of the early 1990s. This is a result of a growing "social deficit." This deficit reflects the failure of our community and society to care for its vulnerable populations. It refers to not only the immediate consequences of unmet basic needs, such as hunger and homelessness, but also the long-term damage it inflicts, especially on the life chances of children. This is the trend revealed by the Halton Quality of Life Index of 1998.

This report is the second in the series on The Quality of Life in Halton, which is published by the Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre as part of a province-wide initiative. The Council is using the Quality of Life Index (QLI) as a tool to measure and monitor changes in living and working conditions that affect the quality of life in our communities. The QLI is also a tool to contribute to community dialogue about important issues. There are twenty community partners across Ontario involved in the Quality of Life Index project, using the QLI to measure changes in their local communities. The most recent provincial report was released on June 9, 1999, which shows a provincial score of 99.9, but the Halton QLI still remains 12 points below the 1990 benchmark with a score of 88.

Moving beyond the 1990 benchmark, Halton's main areas of progress are the environmental indicators, one health indicator, one social indicator and one economic indicator. There are setbacks where we have yet to reach our 1990 QLI in important areas such as social assistance caseloads, child welfare, long term care, new cancer cases, and bankruptcies.

A social deficit has emerged in the '90s because of changes in public policies and the effects of the globalization of the economy. "The short term fiscal gains made by governments through cuts in public services have dramatically influenced the well-being of the vulnerable groups most affected by these negative social trends -- children, the elderly, and the poor, who are mainly women and children. The gradual economic recovery is not being matched by a social recovery," says Ted Hildebrandt, author of the Halton report.

Our quality of life has been the subject of public debate from many different points of view this spring. The trends and issues we have identified through the Quality of Life Index provide a basis for raising issues of public policy for attention by the newly elected provincial government.

The full report is available by contacting the office.


For More Information Contact:

 

Community Development Halton
860 Harrington Court, Burlington, ON L7N 3N4
Tel: 905-632-1975, 905-878-0955
FAX: 905-632-0778
Email:office@cdhalton.ca

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