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Doctors accused of welfare abuse

They’re calling it welfare abuse, and they’re accusing doctors of it.

Doctors can help nudge up the incomes of their welfare-dependent patients by completing a form that entitles them to some extra food money each month for health-related reasons. It’s called the Special Dietary Allowance. There are a number of qualifying health conditions, such as diabetes, […]

Homelessness Forum and the Managed Alcohol Program

I spent yesterday at the Homelessness Forum, which was sponsored by the Alliance to End Homelessness.

This is my third year attending and blogging about this event (see 2007and 2008). I like it because it’s free. Actually, that’s an over-simplification. Because it’s free, it attracts the kind of people who might not normally attend conferences, […]

A peek inside Youville Centre

Youville child care staff in a quiet moment

I recently had the privilege of taking a tour of Youville Centre, as part of the United Way’s Seeing is Believing tour.

Youville is a combination school and child care centre for teen moms. It’s bright, clean and cheerful, and it’s alive with the energy of […]

Helping make a bad week better

They’re saying the two downtown fires at the women’s shelter and the women’s rooming house are unrelated. Foul play is being blamed for at least one of them. Regardless of how they happened, one woman’s dead and an awful lot of women on the bottom rungs of the socio-economic ladder are suddenly even more precariously […]

Homeless Hope Garden Party

Shepherds of Good Hope Garden

The Shepherds of Good Hope has a community garden plot, just like ours only much bigger and much much better organized It’s out at the Kilborn Allotment Garden. They grow food there for the soup kitchen.

When I volunteered at Shepherds, there was usually enough food to go […]

Last Shift at Shepherds

If you’ve ever driven past the Shepherds of Good Hope, on Murray Street near King Edward, you might have felt a little intimidated by the clusters of ragged street people who live on the fringes of society and who congregate outside the shelter. Some of them smoke and talk amongst themselves. Some talk to themselves. […]

Carlington Prostitution Sweep

Yesterday, River Ward City Councilor Maria McRae sent out an email to her mailing list.

Here’s what it said:

Hello everyone:

As you know, community safety and crime prevention continue to be a priority for me and I applaud your efforts in working with me and the Ottawa Police Service to make sure that you identify issues […]


Did you hear about Project CRACKDOWN and the resulting police sweep of the Byward Market? The Ottawa Police’s Street Crimes Unit spent four months investigating open drug use in the Market and then conducted a sweep of low-level street dealers on Thursday in preparation for tourist season.

Tourist season.

Think about it. That’s how we define […]

A few highlights from Rethinking Poverty

Ottawa’s such a terrific city. There are always interesting things to do. And now that I’m unemployed, I can do some of the daytime things too. There’s a whole other world of opportunities out there once you reclaim the weekdays!

Yesterday I went to a free conference at City Hall: Rethinking Poverty 2 – An Immigrant […]

SCAN drama at the library

I went to a community meeting at the library on Thursday night about the proposed SCAN legislation (Bill 106) introduced by Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi. (Who, incidentally, recognized me, shook my hand, told me he had read my blog, and said his mother would be proud that I had said he was polite.)

According to […]