Ontario Looking for Innovative Ideas on How to Help Reduce Poverty
Province-wide Consultations on a New Poverty Reduction Strategy Underway
TORONTO — The Ontario government wants to hear from people across the province about what they want to see in the next poverty reduction strategy.
“Empowering people and supporting them during challenging times is a priority for our government. We also know we cannot do this work alone,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “It’s important we listen to people who have experienced poverty, community organizations, Indigenous communities and organizations, and our partners about how we can break the cycle of poverty to ensure everyone has a chance to succeed and contribute to their community.”
Every five years, Ontario consults on and develops a new Poverty Reduction Strategy to identify opportunities for action and collaboration with partners and to measure and report on progress more effectively. The goal of this consultation is to help drive actions to reduce poverty by setting a specific and realistic target, as well as prioritizing actions and initiatives across sectors and at all government levels to help lift Ontarians out of poverty.
To inform the new Strategy, the government will be asking Ontario residents how we can encourage job creation and connect people to employment; provide people with the right supports and services; and lower the cost of living and make life more affordable.
Organizations and individuals can provide written submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org beginning today. An online survey will be posted on Ontario.ca in January 2020 for approximately 60 days where organizations and individuals are encouraged to submit feedback.
“One in seven people in Ontario lives in poverty, and that is too many,” said Minister Smith. “By creating an environment where everyone is able to reach their full potential, we’re helping people across Ontario put food on the table and provide for their families. Our government remains committed to protecting the most vulnerable people of Ontario by continuing to make investments to make life more affordable, while proposing new strategies to meet their needs.”
- The development of a new five-year strategy is in accordance with the Poverty Reduction Act, 2009.
- This work builds on the government’s new Low-income Individuals and Families Tax Credit, which will result in Ontario Personal Income Tax (PIT) being reduced or eliminated for about 1.1 million people.
- The government is investing an additional $31 million dollars in the Ontario Child Benefit, for a total of roughly $1.2 billion this year.
- Starting this fall, the government is investing approximately $90 million annually to provide low-income seniors access to high-quality dental care.
- People at heightened risk of poverty include: Indigenous people, single mothers, people with disabilities, seniors, recent immigrants, and racialized communities.
- The province is taking a cross-government approach to developing a new poverty reduction strategy.