DisAbled Women's Network: DAWN ONTARIO

Remembering Kimberly Rogers

Justice With Dignity -  Remembering Kimberly Rogers

Justice With Dignity -  Remember Kimberly Rogers

The time for change is now
Justice with Dignity
for everyone

Canadians were outraged
in August 2001 when

Kimberly Rogers

died, destitute, alone and
eight months pregnant,

while under house arrest
for welfare fraud.

Kimberly Rogers
What many people
do not know is that the
conditions and policies
that set the stage
for this
tragedy
are still in place.

 

Kimberly Rogers

 

Featured Article

Two fraud cases: Conrad Black and Kimberly Rogers

A $102-million corporate theft vs. $13,500 in unauthorized
welfare benefits
- which one will pay the greater penalty?

NUPGE: National Union of Public & General Employees

16 November 2004

Kimberly Rogers & Conrad Black - photo from NUPGE
Kimberly Rogers & Conrad Black


Toronto - It will be interesting to see how Conrad Black fares compared to Kimberly Rogers.

Black and his long-time business partner, David Radler, were charged Monday with civil fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The commission alleges that the pair looted $85 million US. ($102 million Canadian) from the shareholders of Hollinger International Inc.

"Black and Radler abused their control of a public company and treated it as their personal piggy bank,'' SEC Enforcement Director Stephen Cutler said in announcing the charges.

Just what, if anything, happens to Black (and Radler) is anybody's guess at this point. American authorities are at least attempting to bring them to justice. But given the abilities of the rich and powerful to wiggle off the hook, don't hold your breath.

Sudbury welfare case

By contrast, consider the case of Kimberly Rogers. The 40-year-old woman was found dead in her overheated Sudbury apartment in August 2001 after being convicted of welfare abuse.

Rogers was sentenced to house arrest for collecting $13,500 ($11,200 US) in social assistance benefits while attending school on a student loan.

She was caught by the tough-on-welfare former Conservative government, which slashed subsistence benefits to unlivable levels (for philosophical and budgetary reasons) and left it to the tender mercies of computers to work out the details.

Rogers was one of those details. Pregnant at the time she was caught, she was confined to her stifling apartment for all but three hours a week. She took her own life.

An inquest into her death revealed a glaring discrepancy between the government's view of "welfare bums" and the reality of life on welfare in Ontario.

"Rogers lived in desperate poverty," the Toronto Star reported. "(She) had been prescribed medication for a range of health issues that prevented her from working. She died trying to fight her way out of poverty.... The (inquest) jury saw through the stereotypes about poor people and made 14 thoughtful recommendations aimed at preventing future deaths in similar circumstances."

Silence and inaction

Sadly, the Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty, which replaced the mean-spirited Conservatives in 2003, has been slow to act on the recommendations. Things are almost as bad today as they were when the Conservatives held power.

Meanwhile, Tory politicians, like former premiers Mike Harris and Ernie Eves (who are now out of power but in many cases are enjoying public pensions that make welfare benefits pale by comparison) have been conspicuous in their silence about the sins of Conrad Black.

To date, it has been left pretty much to American authorities (such as the SEC) to try to bring Black to justice. The toothless Ontario Securities Commission is still trying to decide whether shareholders were hurt. (This is not a typo.)

As always in Canadian politics, the sins of welfare recipients are treated far more seriously than those of the rich and powerful. NUPGE

More information:
Kimberly Rogers died two years ago today
- NUPGE: National Union of Public & General Employees , August 10, 2003


 

 

Post Inquest ACTION KIT - Ban the Bans!

Verdict of Coroner's Jury into the Death of Kimberly Ann Rogers

Post Kimberly Rogers Inquest Alerts
content indexed by date

Inquest into the Death of Kimberly Rogers


Public Interest Groups with Standing at the Kimberly Rogers Inquest

Judicial Review Decision in CAEFS v. Dr. David Eden, Coroner (HTML) dd Nov. 28. 2002
View the decision in PDF Format (requires Acrobat Reader)

Coroner's Ruling re Application for Standing at the Kimberly Rogers Inquest

Rogers Inquest Standing Application (RTF)
Ontario Social Safetyy NetWork (OSSN); Ontario Legal Clinics' Steering Committee on Social Assistance (SCSA)
Ontario Works Statistical Fact Sheet
- related to the Kimberly Rogers Inquest
Background on Ontario's Zero Tolerance Policy - FAQs on Lifetime Welfare Ban


 

Advocacy group can’t get legal aid Northern Life, Oct. 11, 2002

Inquest into Kimberly Roger's Death Starts Tuesday - dd Oct. 11, 2002
Press Release - Ontario Social Safetyy NetWork (OSSN); Ontario Legal Clinics' Steering Committee on Social Assistance (SCSA); Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC)

Inquest Information #1 - source National Anti-Poverty Organization dd Oct. 9, 2002

Rogers Inquest Jury To Hear from Welfare Advocacy Groups - dd Sept. 26, 2002
Press Release - Ontario Social Safetyy NetWork (OSSN); Ontario Legal Clinics' Steering Committee on Social Assistance (SCSA); Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC)

Sample Letters to the Editor

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