Justice With Dignity - Committee to Remember Kimberly Rogers


Kimberly Rogers Inquest Alerts

CAW President urges adoption of Kimberly Rogers coroner's jury recommendations

Canadian Auto Workers
Press Release
Friday, December 20, 2002

 

TORONTO, Dec. 20 /CNW/ - "I applaud the five ordinary Canadians on the Sudbury coroner's jury who yesterday released their findings on the death of Kimberly Rogers and urged the government of Ernie Eves to take another look at social assistance rates in Ontario, and end the life-time ban on receiving social assistance in cases of so called welfare "fraud". The jury made other recommendations consistent with good sense," said Canadian Auto Workers union president Buzz Hargrove.

In August 2001, at the height of a heat wave, eight months pregnant Kimberly Rogers died in her Sudbury apartment. She was half way through a six month sentence of house arrest, after being convicted of so called welfare "fraud" because she was receiving social assistance at the time she had a student loan to go to college.

"Here was an honours student," said Hargrove. "Her dream was to become a social worker. The fact that she would have had to repay the student loan with interest made no difference to this government, the prosecutor or the judge who sentenced her. It didn't matter to them that welfare left her with only $70 a month for food and all other necessities after she paid her rent of $450. Her welfare case worker "forgot" to tell her she was entitled to $43 a month extra for a pregnancy diet supplement.

"The Eves government should base welfare rates on real average rents and
actual costs of a nutritional food basket as the jury suggests." said
Hargrove.

"The jury found that Kimberly Rogers' death was a suicide. The premier and his government should take no consolation from that. When a young woman, full of promise, dies by her own hand as a result of the inhuman, heartless policies of this province, it is a wake up call to all of us," said Hargrove.

"It's time for the government of Ontario to enact real supports for people who want to go to school, better their lives and get off welfare. It's time the Eves government put the Harris legacy of poor bashing behind them. It's time for Eves to do the right thing and act on the jury's recommendations. The odious regulations that contributed to Kimberly Rogers' death must be struck down," concluded the CAW President.

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For further information:
Lynn Brophy,
CAW Communications,
(416) 718-8439

 

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