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With more than 15,000 people in Thunder Bay living in poverty, the city took its first step toward reducing that number Monday night.
With four pillars and 23 commitments developed over the past year, council took its first look at a framework report the city can use to begin tackling the issue.
“The document is not a dream but in fact it’s a plan a framework to move forward,” Lakehead Social Planning Council’s Mary Kozorys said.
Like the city’s drug strategy, one of the main issues facing those in poverty is a lack of affordable housing. It also recommends the city promote living wages and other community economic development, enhance infrastructure for those in need and make the city more inclusive.
The report, which took a year to create and includes more than 400 people, doesn’t have specific recommendations but instead is the beginning of a long process. Some councillors, like Coun. Aldo Ruberto and Andrew Foulds wanted the city to start tackling the issue right away.
“We do have some buildings,” Foulds said of ways to start building more affordable housing.
“I’m sort of keen to get going.”
Ruberto asked what council needs to get administration to start working on specifics. But Coun. Paul Pugh said the real work would begin once council accepted the document, which it did unanimously.
“It’s a bit early to be getting into that,” he said. “This is something that just producing this report has taken over a year.”
The full report will be available here Tuesday morning.
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