Today marks the fourth anniversary of Ontario’s first-ever Poverty Reduction Strategy.
The 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction has issued its fourth annual progress report on poverty reduction – see below.
The report notes that child poverty actually declined between 2008 and 2010 – the height of the economic recession – but that inequality and depth of poverty continue to rise.
All parties in the legislature committed to poverty reduction in 2009. Now, we need strong leadership to make the investments and meet the target, and prepare the second five-year poverty reduction strategy as mandated by law.
With the Liberal party’s leadership contest underway and a very possible spring election in the offing, use the tools below to remind Ontario’s political leaders of their commitment, and ask what they plan to do to meet it.
25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction
Dec. 4, 2012: Fourth Anniversary of Poverty Reduction in Ontario
For Immediate Release
Anti-poverty target in peril: Ontario’s aspiring political leaders called to action
Toronto (Dec 4, 2012) – Ontario’s political leadership hopefuls are being warned that the province will fall short of its goal to reduce child and family poverty by 25% in 2013 unless urgent action is taken.
As the Ontario Liberals choose a new leader and Opposition parties eye a spring election, a progress report by the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction is calling for immediate investments to support those who are struggling.
“On the fourth anniversary of Ontario’s poverty reduction strategy, we have seen how strong leadership and government action can and does reduce poverty,” said Greg deGroot-Maggetti, Co-Chair of the 25 in 5 Network. “But we have also seen how scaling back investments threatens to undermine progress and drive more Ontarians further into poverty.”
Meeting the Poverty Reduction Target: Strong Leadership and Good Policy Required is the 25 in 5 Network’s fourth annual progress report on Ontario’s five-year Poverty Reduction Strategy. It shows that between 2008 and 2010 Ontario made a number of important investments that helped reduce child poverty by more than 6%, lifting 29,000 children and their families out of poverty. However, the report also points to recent backtracking on child benefits, social assistance, housing, and other areas that can stall earlier progress.
“In these tough times with costs always rising, the Ontario Child Benefit has helped many low income Ontarians buy healthy food for their kids,” said Mike Creek, Co-Chair of the Network. “But there is so much more to be done to reduce and eliminate poverty and inequality in Ontario. Ontario needs leadership that ensures more good jobs with living wages, a social safety net for the unemployed, and equitable programs that build healthy communities.”
With an eye to the 2013 provincial budget – the final budget before the end of the first Poverty Reduction Strategy – the Network is calling for a number of investments, including:
- Increasing the Ontario Child Benefit to $1,310 for low income Ontario families in July 2013, as originally promised by the government;
- Making a downpayment on social assistance reform, including a $100 rate increase, raising asset limits and reducing clawbacks on earned income, and appointing a commissioner and community-based advisory committees; and,
- Ensuring that work pays by increasing the minimum wage and investing in employment standards enforcement.
The report also calls on all parties to articulate their vision and plan for creating Ontario’s second five-year Poverty Reduction Strategy, which the Poverty Reduction Act requires be released by the end of 2013.
Ask the Liberal party’s leadership candidates and the Opposition leaders what they plan to do to address poverty in Ontario. Tell them the 25 in 5 report calls for action – what’s their plan? Will they endorse the report’s recommendations?
If you are on Email:
Send emails using these links / email addresses:
- Eric Hoskins: http://ericforleader.ca/contact-us/
- Gerard Kennedy: http://www.gerardkennedy.ca/
- Glen Murray: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sandra Pupatello: http://signup4sandra.ca/contact/
- Charles Sousa: info@VoteSousa.ca
- Harinder Takhar: (no email address found – website is: http://votetakhar.com/)
- Kathleen Wynne: email@example.com
- Tim Hudak, PC Leader: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Andrea Horwath, NDP Leader: email@example.com
If you are on Twitter:
Ask the question: “25in5 report calls for action. What’s your plan?”
Use the hashtags: #olpldr, #poverty, #25in5
Tweet to the Liberal leadership candidates and Opposition leaders at these Twitter handles:
- Eric Hoskins: @DrEricHoskins
- Gerard Kennedy: @GKennedyOLP
- Glen Murray: @Glen4ONT
- Sandra Pupatello: @SandraPupatello
- Charles Sousa: @SousaCharles
- Harinder Takhar: @harindertakhar
- Kathleen Wynne: @Kathleen_Wynne
- Tim Hudak, PC Leader: @timhudak
- Andrea Horwath, NDP Leader: @andreahorwath
About the 25 in 5 eBulletins
The 25 in 5 Network is steered by a coalition of Ontario organizations including Campaign 2000, The Income Security Advocacy Centre, The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition, The Colour of Poverty Project, Voices From the Street, among others.
This is a bulletin from 25 in 5 to its contact list of supporters and interested parties across the province. The Bulletin is intended to keep you up to date on the implementation of a poverty reduction plan for Ontario and to let you know how you, your organizations and networks can help make it happen.
For more information visit www.25in5.ca
Click here to sign up for this e-Bulletin.
The 25 in 5 Network runs exclusively on volunteer contributions from our partners. Any financial contribution that you or your organization is able to provide to the Network would be most appreciated. To make a financial contribution to 25 in 5, please contact John Campey at firstname.lastname@example.org.