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Oxford County Taking On Poverty

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Oxford County has committed to achieving zero poverty in our area.

OXFORD COUNTY - First it was renewable energy, then it was zero waste and now zero poverty.

Oxford County Council has officially committed to eliminating poverty in our area.

Warden David Mayberry says it will be a team effort.

"I'm pleased to see Public Health, Human Services, the Planning Department and the CAO's Office all committed to being part of this process. They're the ones that are probably in the best place to help advance this kind of initiative."

County staff will be working alongside a Zero Poverty Action Committee in order to develop draft strategy.

Bryan Smith, Vice Chair of the Social Planning Council says they are looking into poverty reduction models from around the world.

"Finland has a working one, where they've discovered that once you provide people with a basic guaranteed income, that people then take up entrepreneurial things and artistic things that suddenly turn them into people who are earning more money than they could have imagined."

Dr. Tracey-Smith Carrier is a professor and researcher at Kings College in Western University. She says the basic income method has been proven to work.

"Providing a basic income has pretty much solved or eliminated poverty for the senior population in the 1970's and 1980's, so we already have a track record of being able to do that with certain populations."

Council also supported a declaration that was brought forward, as a result of a Poverty Town Hall meeting back in September. The declaration is as follows;

"Poverty reduction in Oxford County is achievable and will strengthen wellbeing for all; it's the right thing to do. Through leadership, innovation and the transformation of relationships in working to eliminate poverty, Oxford County will deliver improved health and wellbeing for all residents and enhance community prosperity."

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