Energy & Poverty

Energy the root cause for inequality and environmental destruction

Bridget Doherty was invited to speak at the Queen’s Ban Righ Centre.


Energy Poverty was the topic of a noon hour talk by Bridget Doherty of the JPIC office of the Sisters of Providence. She was invited to appear as part of the Special Speakers Series at Queen’s Ban Righ Centre February 15.

Community groups like LIEN (Low Income Energy Network) and LEAF (Local Energy Assessment Fund) are working to create more affordable energy as the gap widens between wages and energy costs.

Bridget helps educate and advise on conservation and green energy consumption. She says green energy has the potential for better infrastructure and better economics by creating more jobs (construction, maintenances, operators, etc.) and reduce pollution. “We need to think about what kind of Canada we want and what direction we want to move because it’s only going to get more difficult,” says Bridget.

Tara Kainer, also with the JPIC office and a member of the Kingston Poverty Round Table, studied how much money a family of four needs to meet their basic needs in Ontario.

The findings show the husband and wife both need to earn $16.29 per hour yet the minimum wage is $10.25 per hour.

According to Cindy Cameron of the Kingston Community Legal Clinic, employed people may find subsidized housing but after utilities are added, it becomes unaffordable.

For example a geared to income rent may be $150, but utility bills could reach up to $700 or more due to old or inefficient housing and appliances.