Put Food in the Budget Campaign: A Poor People's Inquiry

Put Food in the Budget Campaign: A Poor People’s Inquiry

This is an update to the previous blog, Put Food in the Budget: Please Urge Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to Raise Social Assistance Rates Now!

Did you know that?

  • A single person in Ontario, Canada, receives only $626 a month in social assistance.
  • After paying the rent, many people in Ontario don’t have enough money to buy food.
  • More than 400,000 people in our wealthy province are forced to go to food banks every month.

In response, Put Food in the Budget launches A Poor People’s Inquiry across Ontario.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told the media that social justice is her top priority. Premier Wynne’s claim is believable only if she significantly increases social assistance rates and puts food in the budget of people who are poor in Ontario.

Put Food in the Budget

The Put Food in the Budget campaign is conducting A Poor People’s Inquiry to answer the following question:

“Do the changes to social assistance introduced by Premier Wynne put food in the budget of people who are poor in Ontario?”

  • A Poor People’s Inquiry will gather evidence from people who receive social assistance, and from people who volunteer and work in organizations that serve, support or advocate with people who are poor.
  • Hearings will be held in communities across Ontario in the first week of December 2013, which is the fifth anniversary of the Liberal government’s five-year Poverty Reduction Strategy.
    • At each community hearing, a panel of people who are poor will preside.
    • Evidence gathered will be collected into an Official Record of Evidence.

Please click here for info about the various actions of A Poor People’s Inquiry.

Premier Wynne will soon announce her plans for the next five years of her government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, and is preparing the next Ontario budget for the spring of 2014.

  • Put Food in the Budget points out that if Premier Wynne fails to increase social assistance rates to a level that puts food in the budget, then she fails in her promise to be the social justice premier of Ontario.

In the first phase of A Poor People’s Inquiry, Put Food in the Budget is gathering evidence from people who are poor about the impact on their monthly income and expenses from changes to social assistance announced by Premier Wynne’s government.

  • The major changes are:
    • a 1% increase in social assistance rates;
    • a $14 a month increase for single adults without children who receive Ontario Works; and
    • allowing all social assistance recipients to earn up to $200/month without reducing their social assistance.
  • Have these changes really helped you?

Please submit your evidence by filling out Put Food in the Budget’s inquiry survey.

Three Ways to Submit Your Evidence to the Inquiry

  1. Please click here to fill out the on-line form.
  2. Download this form, fill it out on screen, save it and send it back to us as an email attachment to infopfib@gmail.com.
  3. Download this form, make a printout, fill it out by hand, and fax it  to 905-812-7545, or mail your responses to:

A Poor People’s Inquiry/PFIB
South Riverdale Community Health Centre
955 Queen Street East
Toronto, Ontario, M4M 3P3

  • You could also bring your filled-out forms to a community hearing in your area.
    • Put Food in the Budget will have a list of hearings scheduled in communities across Ontario soon, so please check back at their website.

Want to set up a hearing for the Inquiry in your community?

Here are some tools that will help you.

  • The Organizer’s Guide (pdf) will help you get started with things like outreach and publicity:
  • The Resource Materials (pdf) booklet provides details and guidelines on conducting the hearing itself.

Put Food in the Budget’s Contact Info

South Riverdale Community Health Centre
c/o Put Food in the Budget
955 Queen Street East
Toronto, Ontario, M4M 3P3

infopfib@gmail.com

Facebook: Put Food in the Budget!

Twitter: @putfoodinbudget

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