Poverty Reduction Strategy Helping Ontario Families
McGuinty Government Releases Second Progress Report
Ontario continues to make investments through the poverty reduction strategy that are helping low-income families during challenging economic times.
Today, the second annual report of the Breaking the Cycle strategy was released, detailing progress made over the past two years to help children and families hit hardest by the recession and stimulate Ontario's economic recovery. These include:
- Rolling out Full-Day Kindergarten in nearly 600 schools across the province for approximately 35,000 students, and maintaining approximately 8,500 licensed child care spaces and 1,000 child care jobs
- Providing up to $1,100 per child per year through the Ontario Child Benefit to over one million children
- Cutting taxes for 93 per cent of Ontarians who benefit from personal income tax cuts and eliminating personal income tax for 90,000 lower-income taxpayers
- Providing tax benefits and credits for the HST, property taxes and energy costs through Ontario's tax reform package
- Increasing the minimum hourly wage to $10.25
- Releasing a long-term housing strategy and announcing a review of social assistance -with the goal of improving outcomes for low-income Ontarians
- Increasing access to education and skills training, which is helping thousands of Ontarians retrain for new careers and gain postsecondary education
- Introducing the Open Ontario Plan to strengthen the province's economy and create more jobs
These combined investments and initiatives are already making a difference for Ontario families. Because of the steps taken, a single mom with a young child, working full time at minimum wage, now lives above the poverty line.
Ontario's poverty reduction strategy aims to reduce the number of children living in poverty by 25 per cent over five years, and is part of the Open Ontario plan to break the cycle of poverty.
- Statistics Canada has revised the method of calculating the Low Income Measure (LIM). To reflect this change, the province's target of reducing child poverty by 25 per cent over five years has been updated to 103,000 children. In 2008, Statistics Canada's LIM was 15.2 per cent
- Today, more than one million low-income kids and their families are receiving the Ontario Child Benefit
- Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy Breaking the Cycle, the first in the province's history, was launched in December 2008.
“We are giving our kids the opportunity to succeed by investing in early years programs and implementing Full-Day Kindergarten. Combined with tax credits, accelerating the Ontario Child Benefit and increasing the minimum wage, the Poverty Reduction Strategy is helping low-income families to break the cycle of poverty.”
“The introduction of Full-Day Kindergarten, the stabilization of child care funding and the continuing efforts to strengthen early learning programs in Ontario signal that this government understands the tremendous return on investment that is possible when we invest in the early years.”
“Ontario Campaign 2000 commends the Ontario government for taking leadership by developing a Poverty Reduction Strategy. The recession's impact on poverty rates would be greater; were it not for steps taken to date by the Ontario government: introducing the Ontario Child Benefit, investing in affordable housing, saving subsidized child care spaces, and bringing in Full-Day Kindergarten.”