Media Releases

An archive of Community Development Halton media releases dating back to 1999.

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Burlington, April 2, 2015 -  In an age of selfies it is more important than ever to take a moment to think about someone other than yourself. More than a moment, in fact. This year, Ontario students will rise to the challenge for six weeks, kicking off with National Volunteer Week April 12th-18th. The 2015 ChangeTheWorld campaign, April 12th to May 24th, is an Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge, a joint initiative between the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (OVCN) and the Government of Ontario to inspire high school students to give back to their community. Students from different schools, neighbourhoods, and backgrounds will share their passion in dozens of community projects. Volunteer Halton, our local volunteer centre, is committed to working with students to realize their vision of better communities. We support youth as they think outside the box to find ways to contribute that are beyond the traditional volunteer roles and capitalize on the skills and interests of high school students today.
ChangeTheWorld is an opportunity to provide a vital connection between students and the world around them. Last year 3,263 youth volunteered a minimum of 3 hours each in over 30 events across Halton to a total of 12,238 hours. This year Volunteer Halton invites all youth between the ages of 14-18 to look around and choose a way you can make a difference, big or small, in your neighbourhood. If you need some ideas visit our website at www.volunteerhalton.ca.
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For more information, contact:
Shannon Kitchings
Coordinator of ChangeTheWorld
Community Development Halton/Volunteer Halton
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Burlington, March 27, 2015 -  North BurLINKton Community Group, with the support of Community Development Halton, are pleased to announce that they have been awarded a Government of Ontario Youth Opportunities Fund grant of $181,700 over 30 months to create neighbourhood spaces where young people can meet, make new friends, experience a sense of belonging, and gain leadership skills. High school aged youth in north Burlington will secure and animate these spaces with the support of adult allies.
This project will address the objectives of the Youth Opportunities Fund:

  • Youth form and maintain healthy, close relationships and
  • Youth are engaged in their communities

North BurLINKton Community Group, an emerging grass roots group recently launched its own mission statement:
Together we create inclusive and friendly neighbourhoods that help people connect and increase their sense of belonging.
This initiative comes at a perfect time, allowing the North BurLINKton Community Group to move forward building on the neighbourhood development work of community members and partners over the past few years. The initiative will be supported by adults but lead by youth, tapping into the potential of extraordinary young people in north Burlington neighbourhoods.
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For more information, contact:
Rishia Burke, Social Planner
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(905) 632-1975
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community-awardBurlington, September 23, 2014 -  On Tuesday September 16th, Community Development Halton celebrated 30 years of creative initiatives throughout Halton to build healthy and inclusive communities. A highlight of the evening was the announcement of the new Walter Mulkewich Community Development Award. This award pays homage to a man who has worked continuously to make life better and more equitable for all residents of Halton. Walter Mulkewich's imprint on our Halton communities is profound and lasting as he works and is working for change in our small place on this planet. The totality of his acts have rewritten the history of these communities and are influencing their respective journey into the future. It seems so fitting that a man who has brought people together to build a healthy, creative community should have an award named in his honour.

There is a story to this award. Community Development Halton's Volunteer Program recognizes and celebrates the work, generosity and impact of individual volunteers across Halton's four communities. But these extraordinary people have said to us repeatedly, "it isn't really me, it is about the group, it's about the energy and commitment of my neighbours". This rippled through CDH such that the Board of Directors created an award to celebrate those extraordinary people who come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems in their community. This beautiful glass sculpture, an award named for a man whose lifelong commitment is helping others to act for change, has been designed and created by local Halton artist, Tara Marsh. In the future, it will be awarded to a community group that has come together to take collective action to enhance the common good.

Walter shared his thoughts on 30 years of community development, its successes, its limitations, its aspirations and its profound involvement of community. His remarks encouraged the audience to reflect on three major challenges that dominate our future: i) increasing inequality; ii) climate change; and ii) decline of social capital and democracy.

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For more information, contact:
Dr. Joey Edwardh, Ph.D.
Executive Director
(905) 632-1975
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Burlington, July 5, 2011 -  Community Development Halton and Poverty Free Halton, at the invitation of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, met with Frances Lankin and Munir Sheikh, Commissioners of the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario. Halton and its municipalities rarely receive visits from commissions appointed to investigate social issues. As John Versluis, co-chair of Poverty Free Halton commented, "Poverty in Halton is often hidden, buried under the veneer of affluence and well-being." He continued emphasizing that "the gap between the annual income of a family of four on social assistance and that of the median Halton family income is $5,793 per month or approximately $69,230 per year. These people live in different worlds, making bridges of compassion and understanding difficult to build."

Rishia Burke and Jen Gerrard of Community Development Halton told the Commissioners that they, and others from their research team, had crossed the Region talking with people living in poverty. The many stories of people painfully showed that the basic necessities of life such as food shelter, recreation, opportunity to belong to their community were outside of the reach of those in poverty and especially those on social assistance who live in "deep poverty." Rishia Burke added "Mental health was always an underlying theme during community conversations. Poor people live under tremendous stress. They do not have enough money to live and face choices between housing or food. Every day they face the stresses of surviving." Jen Gerrard told the Commissioners that programs and services should respect the dignity of people. They should not feel "less" as a result of asking for assistance to meet basic needs.

As the conversation moved on to social assistance reform, Dr. Joey Edwardh of Community Development Halton, pointed out that the dialogue and, ultimately, the recommendations for change must be evidence-based. She observed, "Today, there is no evidence-based process for determining social assistance rates and as a result, the benefits have no relation to the cost of living in a community." The Commissioners thanked the delegation for their thoughtful and insightful presentation.

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For more information, contact:
Dr. Joey Edwardh, Ph.D.
Executive Director
(905) 632-1975
PDF Version of release