A Face of Poverty & Desperation in Cornwall Ontario – Letter to the Editor – January 26, 2013

A Face of Poverty & Desperation in Cornwall Ontario – Letter to the Editor – January 26, 2013

cornwall 46K
I’m so tired of reading articles that bash people on social assistance!    I’m sure a lot of you have read the blogs and commentaries either online or in the local newspapers and some of you may even be the authors!  I’ve seen phrases like lazy, responsibility free, dope selling bums, drink their cheque, professional scammers, believe the world owes them a favor, they hang out at Timmy’s all day drinking coffee, abusing the system, sure to end up in jail and mentally unstable.    I can only hope to change your mind, to put a picture in your head of what it’s like and hopefully make you think twice next time you type those disparaging remarks that cut to the very soul.

.
Poverty to some might mean making their car last another year, downgrading their cell phone plan, not taking the trip they had planned or maybe cutting down on takeout meals.  I’m not talking about the kind of poverty we see in commercials of third world countries asking for donations.  I’m talking about the poverty in our very small city of Cornwall, Ontario that should not exist in our well developed country!  For me, poverty goes way beyond what you can imagine.  I really don’t mind not having a car, cell phone, takeout meals or being able to go on trips.

.

I don’t even mind not having cable TV, or not being able to go the hair salon to have my extremely fast growing hair trimmed, or not going to a show at the cinemas once in awhile.  My adult children even understood when I couldn’t buy them gifts this past Christmas and will understand when I can’t get them a gift for their up and coming birthdays either.  None of this matters when you can’t afford them, you just learn to do without, and people as a whole can do without those extras.  I’m living proof that you can, and no, you won’t die!  So that’s the list of things I can do without, easy enough, a lot of us in the lower tax bracket do and we survive.

.

So now, imagine your life as a single person, losing your job due to a permanent widespread lay off, collecting the Employment Insurance benefits you’re entitled to at 55% of your previous wages which weren’t great to begin with, all the while looking for work.  That’s pretty rough, but I made it through that too.  I was able to pay my rent and I did cut back on groceries, but was still able to make it through, hoping that a job would come up soon.  My lay off was in April of 2011, I was hoping by summer I’d be in the land of the employed again.

.

I have an education in Business Administration Accounting and a two year accounting diploma, some experience in office administration, accounting, and customer service, it shouldn’t be that hard!  The months came and went and nothing, I registered at some of the employment agencies to aid in my search, but still nothing, my EI benefits were running out by then.

.

By November, I went to Ontario Works, I needed help, and I figured it might only be for a little while.  November was ok, I had already paid my rent, and then December I would have the two cheques to pay my rent.  They would give me $599 per month, but at least I would have benefits.  In December, there was a raise to $606/month.  Let me break this down for you, there are two parts to the cheque, Basic Needs $230, and Shelter, $376.  I had to pay my $725 all inclusive rent out of a $376 Shelter allowance; you can’t even put a tent on a basic camping lot for a month for $376/per month.  So ok, I have some groceries stocked up, so I can use the $230 Basic Needs portion, only I’m missing $119 to cover it!  My wonderful daughter covered my rent, and I’m so very grateful but at the same time it’s tearing me apart having to borrow from my girl!  By the end of December, I’ve got 150 applications and resumes out there.

.

Keep in mind I’m confined to Cornwall, because I don’t have a car so my search is limited.  One suggestion was to bus to Ottawa every day, people can be a bit dense I guess, after researching, I found out it would cost about $400 per month to get to and from Ottawa, not feasible!  A suggestion from my OW worker, move, I said ok, who is going to pay for the move and the expenses of first and last months’ rent that is required?  That funding has been taken away by our government.  She said well put your name in for subsidized housing, well there’s a 3+ years waiting list for that.  I mentioned that I didn’t have any money for groceries, her suggestion:  there’s a place that if you give $10, you can get fruit and vegetables, I don’t have $10 to give I said.

.

So there was no help for my situation, I did ask to be assigned an employment worker, I’m still waiting on that.  We’re coming up to the end of January; I now have about 200 job applications out there.  February’s rent is coming up and I have a $605 cheque coming.  I have 49 cents in the bank but will go into overdraft when they take my bank fee out.  What to do?  Well I guess there’s a few things I could sell, but I would only get a fraction of their worth and if OW found out if I don’t claim it, the police would be at my door charging me with fraud.  Tonight’s menu, porridge, I’m running through what groceries I’ve had stocked up.  I’ve already begged, borrowed, but haven’t stolen yet, I guess that might be next because I’m running out of everything…I guess in the end, I could end up being just like those Welfare recipient bashers call us!

.

Desperate in Cornwall

Donna R. – Cornwall, Ontario
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

 

Related Post

Leave a Reply

87 Comments on "A Face of Poverty & Desperation in Cornwall Ontario – Letter to the Editor – January 26, 2013"

Notify of
avatar
400
Helga
Guest
Donna said, “I see the issue of bilingualism as a bit of a farce, if we, as workers, are required to be able to communicate effectively in both languages to be qualified for a job, then I believe that the public at large should also be required to communicate effectively in both languages. To have that expectation sounds silly right?” Yes, it is silly. How can one expect the public at large to communicate effectively in French if demographically Canada and the province of Ontario are overwhelmingly English? Very few anglophones know French, but all francophones in Ontario know English.… Read more »
Donna R.
Guest

Thank you Stella, all words of encouragement mean so much! Give up, no, to give up means to lay down and die! I’ve always been a fighter and will continue!

highlander
Guest

Donna your very honest with your situation and I am sure enough that an employer will wecome your skills .

Myself, I really welcomed your integrity and honesty that my girl is hard to find and an employer would most certainly benefit having you on their team.

Best of luck ,hold your head high ,your future will only blossom.

concerned citizen 2
Guest

The plight of English speakers in Canada;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q763sTCZ6IQ&feature=youtu.be

Time to end language discrimination in Canada!!!!

Eric
Guest
There are some people trying to get off safety nets and the system is not set up to do that, change is needed. Why can’t we have someone just starting EI or social assistance being offered a training course to get them working in a field they like or in demand? Short order cooks, bookkeeping, ceramic tiler, Plumbing or other trades helpers are examples of accelerated course possibilities. If this job ad said English only (OR DO NOT APPLY), how many noses would be dislocated? Good for you Donna, let people know when they need it. “One of my recent… Read more »
stellabystarlight
Guest

@CC2….Helga and other english freedom fighters…this article is not about french and English…..ca-vas?

Do you have to bring up language in every article….my God, get a life. Relax some…take time to live life **smile**

concerned citizen 2
Guest

Language discrimination affects Cornwall nurses;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMBl7ZOVfBg&feature=g-upl&context=G2ab7300AUAAAAAAAAAA

Speak up & demand fairness.

Silence=Consent….

Highlander
Guest
stellabystarlight January 28, 2013 at 9:50 am “@CC2….Helga and other english freedom fighters…this article is not about french and English…..ca-vas?” “this ad specifically says ‘completely bilingual (OR DO NOT APPLY)’. I am completely qualified for this job and did email the employer to let her know that I’m disappointed that the only thing stopping me from being able to apply is that fact!” So yes Stella this comment says it all from Donna -QUALIFIED but LANGUAGE is a barrier once again. Canada has a cast system similar to India -Bilingual (French) <17% , Uni-lingual 83% . Great government opportunities NOT… Read more »
stellabystarlight
Guest

highlander……It seems like you did not read the article…..read it. In the article itself there is no mention of language….got that?

The language issue, as usual, was brought up in a post by an english freedom fighter……until that post came up there was no mention of language……comprends-tu?

So my question again….why do the freedom fighters have to bring language up in every article? **smile**

Highlander
Guest
stellabystarlight January 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm “So my question again….why do the freedom fighters have to bring language up in every article? **smile**” Because in most circumstances there is relevancy to it. Why institute full bilingualism in Ontario for 4% of the population or for the 14th most spoken language in Ontario -POLITICS ,POLITICS ! concerned citizen 2 January 28, 2013 at 8:30 am http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q763sTCZ6IQ&feature=youtu.be So Stella what is your answer to this ? Now don’t say nobody cares what happens in Quebec it is still part of Canada-because most do .If you did ANY research you would realize… Read more »
Donna R.
Guest
I’ve had a very fruitful day today, no I didn’t get a job, but working at it! I had an appointment with my OW worker to update my participation agreement, which basically outlines that I’m looking for work. She also gave me a list of potential job leads which is great! I told her of my letter writing endeavor this past weekend, and invited her to come and read it, she thought it was wonderful that I’m being so proactive! My OW worker is a very nice lady who understands inadequacies in the system as well as the fraudulent use… Read more »
stellabystarlight
Guest

Donna….YOU GO GIRL!!!

Positive thinking brings about positive results!!

(MODERATED)

Highlander
Guest

(MODERATED)

Though I agree for once with Stella,Make note of that Stella .
Donna “Positive thinking brings about positive results!”

Donna R.
Guest

One thing I did forget to mention about my meeting with my OW worker is that she gave me clarification as to having a part time job if that is all I can find. My earlier post was incorrect, since I have been on the system now for 3 months, that no longer applies to me so then the 50% of earnings would be taken off the cheque.

Highlander
Guest

Hi Everyone hospital will be at the city council tonight 7pm to discuss the second street site .

Is that alright my humble moderator ?

My humble moderator did you get my message for all my Jewish friends I was thinking of them during the rememberence of the Shoah,sorry friends it was late in the evening I sent it.

Donna R.
Guest
Daily job searching can be very frustrating! The need to job search can’t always be done door to door like in the old days, and we rely on our computers to take us to various job search sites to look for jobs. Often the required and expected method of submitting an application and resume is electronically. I’m not saying that door to door isn’t something that you shouldn’t do, but often your resume needs to be submitted through their website, or applications are often followed by testing on the websites for recruiting processes. Often they want to weed out the… Read more »
Bob
Guest
Donna, I feel your pain. I lost my great job after a back injury after I couldn’t get back to work within a reasonable amount of time (gotta love contract work). I saw a specialist who said my injury didn’t warrant any surgery and I should try other forms of treatment which comes at an extra cost. I’m still undergoing treatment daily which isn’t cheap to say the least. My EI is running out in a few months and it’s just enough to cover the rent and move to my in-laws. Since my wife makes a reasonable amount, I do… Read more »
Carole
Guest
I am so sorry for everything that you a going through…my daughter also lives in Cornwall and the system is also not helping her at all….she is a single mom with a 4 yr old and they told her to volunteer or work full time and she is going to college on her own and paying for it herself. Assistance should he there to help the ones in actual need but you have these others that abused the system so bad that the innocent are affected. Then they wonder why they want to get the recipients drug tested…..wonder why. What… Read more »
Guylaine
Guest

REMINDER

Comment policy reminder

CFN has a new comment policy. You must use your real first and last name. As well if your email bounces we will terminate your posting privileges.

We value all input from our amazing CFN viewers and are always trying to improve the viewer experience which includes making this a safe, informative, and entertaining platform.

If you have any questions please email info@cornwallfreenews.com

Angel
Guest

If someone wanted to help out Donna R. How would we do that?

Jason
Guest

Not sure if this is any help but you never know.

https://workforcenow.adp.com/jobs/apply/posting.html?client=aptn

Donna R.
Guest
It would seem that I need to post an update! My job search continued on, I had nearly 500 applications out by the time I got my current job nearly 2 years later. As I had stated earlier, I had to “dumb down” my resume because I was over-qualified for a lot of jobs I was applying for. In my educational field, it seemed that my college education wasn’t enough either for the Accounting jobs, most interviewers were looking for someone with at least 5 yrs experience and/or a university degree. I’m working part time, from home. Up until September… Read more »
Jules
Guest

Donna R. is the exception to the rules, congratulations Donna for being the exception.

jules
Guest
I read that the bus that takes people from Cornwall to Ottawa charges $400./month. My daughter uses OC Transpo here in Ottawa and her monthly bus pass is $103.25 and she paid her February pass earlier this afternoon. My daughter will get a receipt through the net on March 1 so as to claim it in the tax. For those of you who take that bus to Ottawa you can claim that transportation. The LRT system in Ottawa is more expensive and I don’t know the price but we will do what we can to avoid it.
Maureen
Guest

Good for you Donna! I hope you are proud of your resilience, your tenacity and your positive outlook. I have to tell you that I am, what I am often told, a “bleeding heart”. I would rather pay taxes for people who abuse the system, than not pay taxes when there are people like you who are trying as hard as they can. The system isn’t perfect (far from it), but I’m glad it’s there as some kind of safety net.

jules
Guest
Donna my daughter was taking the three year business program back in the year 2000 at SLC in Cornwall in the accounting and she became very sick and it wasn’t until we got to Ottawa to find out that she had thyroid disease – hyperthyroid back then and when they went to treat her at the Civic Hospital they took off too much off her thyroid and became hypothyroid. My daughter found out back then that you need a university degree in accounting and you need all the maths and they think in the mathematical way. The college education in… Read more »
jules
Guest
I put full blame on the mayors and councellors of both the present system of today 2016 and past years why Cornwall has never got ahead and stayed behind to die and that is literally. You have to be on the outside looking in to see Cornwall’s problems. Anybody who has any kind of education has to leave Cornwall or else you just wither away unless you have connections that get you the job. All the people that I went to school with in Cornwall have left and never returned except for the very few who inherited their father’s businesses.… Read more »
Jenn
Guest
Donna I completely understand your situation and how some bad apples on system who abuse get away with it and more and good people trying to just get by have it so hard and trying to make better in life. As for learning French over on McConnell is a place called Moi j’apprend and it’s free you just go 20 hours a week and they build your French speaking, writing and reading skills to help you land the job. Good luck it is so hard to get ahead seems like everyone who really doesn’t care is and people who try… Read more »
jules
Guest

Donna Jenn gave you some good ideas about going for French training. Get all the education that you can and learn French which is a must. Those in Vancouver B.C. learn Mandarin Chinese and other languages and compared to the Chinese dialects French is a sinch. Take our time Donna and study hard. My daughter studies all the time here and a while ago I let her on the machine to print out her notes. What she is studying is like being a nurse – I was in shock to see what she is doing.

jules
Guest
Donna $725./month for rent – gee you are lucky. Here in Ottawa my rent is exhuberant and we are paying one of the lowest rents and the area is not the best. We are on the other side of where all the trouble is located but right nearby. There are townhouses in one of the areas that is notoriously bad that are going to be torn down soon and tenants already have their notices to vacate at the end of this month and the corporation gave them 3 months rent free so as they can look for another place to… Read more »
Donna R.
Guest

Je l’ai déjà dit que je suis bilingue, mais pas assez bilingue! I’ve already been to Le Centre Moi J’apprends, I already know how to speak, read, and write in french, and comprehension and ability to translate is excellent . They couldn’t teach me fluency.

Comments, suggestions and well wishes are appreciated 🙂 ! An update was posted yesterday.

jules
Guest
Donna it is getting so mighty tough to deal with the bilingualism that the companies and government wants from people and so many people are more than fed up. My doctor’s secretary speaks basic French and gets by very well with the patients and even foreign people who are Arab, Italian, etc. and she speaks slow enough to make herself understood and no complaints at all about her French. I have heard her speak and I have complemented her on her effort and I found her French better than a lot of the students that I went to school with… Read more »
jules
Guest
Donna people are having a hard time everywhere. I was talking to Anna one of my daughter’s co-workers who is either 56 or 57 years old and works as a cashier nearby. Yesterday we spoke with her because he daughter is taking a similar course as my daughter but a different school and Anna spoke about her daughter having a special needs baby (autistic) and wakes her up at all hours and cannot sleep. Anna’s children all live with her in a small townhouse off St. Laurent Blvd. and the eldest girl has a young child as well and she… Read more »
jules
Guest
Donna I should have quoted it this way – my rent is the cost of an historical home in the Glebe. When I was told how much taxes a lady pays who owns a house in that neighborhood I was literally blown away and almost collapsed in shock. This woman was working two jobs and did sewing on the side for people and her husband was doing two jobs as well to keep going. There is water in between our walls and on the roof that seeps in and plaster falls from the ceiling. That is the owner’s problem. I… Read more »
wpDiscuz