Media Releases

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


The Cost of Living increases and concern for families meeting their "basic needs" also increases

October 17, 2000 -- The cost of living in Halton has risen, according to the latest figures from the Cost of Living in Halton 2000 published by the Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre. Despite appearances of an upturned economy, the Council worries that more families and individuals cannot afford to live in Halton and purchase the basic necessities of life.

This is the third brochure in a series on The Cost of Living in Halton, which is published by the Council as part of our efforts to raise awareness and educate the community about the issue of income security and citizens' basic needs - food, shelter, clothing, child care and transportation. The latest figures show that the "basic" cost of living in 2000 for a family of four is $29,064 annually.

The Council gathers data on a number of costs for a typical family of four consisting of two adults and two children (one requiring child care) in Halton. The bare minimum or "basic" costs (food, rent, clothing, child care and transportation) are then totalled to produce a figure for the annual cost of living. It does not include other costs such as furnishings, gas, hydro, telephone, toiletries, cleaning supplies, school and recreation costs, although some people may consider these as "basics."

The brochure documents an increase of $3,168 in the cost of living, rising to $29,064 from last year's figure of $25,896. This is attributed to higher food costs, increased rent, increased child care costs and increased transportation costs in the Region.

Other information contained in the report includes the Employment Insurance caseload, the number of households waiting for social housing and the income for an individual working at minimum wage and a family on social assistance.

"We have seen a definite increase in the cost of living in Halton," said Lynne Russell, Social Planner at the Halton Social Planning Council "making it more difficult for families and individuals to afford the costs necessary for basic survival. Of particular concern are families on social assistance, who experienced a 22% cut in their social assistance cheques in 1995 and the working poor that have endured a frozen minimum wage of $6.85 since 1995. These people cannot feed, clothe or house their families and live with a degree of dignity."

The brochure is available by contacting Community Development Halton. 

Cost of Living in Halton 2000


For More Information Contact:

Lynne Russell, Social Planner
Community Development Halton
860 Harrington Court, Burlington, ON L7N 3N4
Tel: 905-632-1975, 905-878-0955
FAX: 905-632-0778


Good start to the day! Goes a long way...

September 18, 2000 -- We invite you to attend the National Launch of Breakfast for Learning Week being held at Mountain Gardens School, 2054 Mountainside Drive, Burlington, on September 25, 2000 at 7:30 am.

Sharing in this celebration will be volunteers, school officials, community groups and dignitaries.

Our focus is to come together for a celebration, but more importantly, we want to raise community awareness and support for school nutrition programs.

You can't train the brain... if you don't include the food.

Special guests include:

  • Paddy Torsney, M.P.
  • Director of Education
  • Burlington Firefighters Association (with a fire truck)
  • Royal Bank managers and staff
  • The Canadian Living Foundation
  • Food for Thought Community Partnership

...and many more.

Opening ceremonies start at 7:30 am.

For More Information Contact:

Darlene Edmonds
Community Development Halton
860 Harrington Court
Burlington, ON  L7N 3N4
Tel: 905-632-1975, 905-878-0955
FAX: 905-632-0778


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


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.