Remembering Kimberly Rogers
For immediate release
Kimberly Rogers Inquest: a year later
Dec. 16, 2003 - Tis the season of food drives, toy drives and charity dinners. Every year at this time thousands of people make donations to assist those in their community who are too poor to be able eat properly or purchase a small gift for their child.
While such donations are welcome, whats really needed are hard questions about why more than 1.6 million people in Ontario are living in poverty and why our governments are not doing anything about this harsh reality, says Jacquie Chic Director of Advocacy and Legal Services at the Income Security Advocacy Centre.
One of the main reasons levels of poverty in Ontario are so high is because social assistance rates are so low. A single mother with one child receives $957 a month. In Toronto, the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment is $1040. The consequences of the grossly inadequate social assistance are dire.
In the summer of 2001, Kimberly Rogers died in her sweltering apartment while under house arrest. Rogers was convicted of fraud for violating the rules of social assistance; she concurrently received both social assistance and a student loan.
The Coroners Jury that examined Rogers death made 14 recommendations including reviewing the social assistance rates to reflect the real cost of living and ending the life-time ban from social assistance for those found guilty of fraud.
Dec. 19th marks one year since the Jury released its recommendations. To date, only one of the recommendations has been implemented.
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Sarah Blackstock, 416-597-5820 ext 5150.
Income Security Advocacy