Therefore, poverty is a very important issue for all Canadians.
Put Food in the Budget is urging Canadians in Ontario, Canada, to help get poor people’s issues on the agenda in this election and beyond.
While politicians run for re-election, people are still walking to food banks …
“Leaders of Ontario’s major political parties are not talking about poverty during the election campaign, nor are they discussing meaningful increases to social assistance rates. What are they talking about?
Premier Kathleen Wynne’s proposed budget included just $30 a month more for people receiving Ontario Works benefits. That would raise the rate to $650 a month, still completely inadequate.
Tim Hudak has proposed a lifetime limit on Ontario Works payments a person could receive.
Andrea Horwath has made no comment on poverty or social assistance.
Our campaign to increase social assistance rates to levels that enable lives of health and dignity will therefore have to continue after the provincial election. We will need to continue working together to pressure whoever wins on June 12 to put food in the budget.
We’ve designed a poster for this election that you can download here. It illustrates how the leaders are focused on their own self-interest, ignoring Ontario residents who are poor and – among other indignities – must go to food banks.
We suggest printing the poster and doing the following:
Put the poster up in public in your community.
Plaster the poster to the windows and doors of local candidates’ campaign offices.
Print information about poverty and food banks in your community on the poster’s reverse side, and hand it out at all-candidates meetings.
At community all-candidates meetings, ask the candidates from all parties “How much money per month do you think a single person on social assistance needs to live a life of health and dignity – and what is your party’s position on raising social assistance to that level?”
The following video presents “Michael Shapcott – Affordable Housing and Homelessness in Canada November 20, 2012.”
Michael Shapcott is Director of Affordable Housing and Community Innovation at the Wellesley Institute, an independent, non-profit policy, research and social enterprise / innovation institute.
Shapcott has worked extensively in Toronto, in many parts of Canada, nationally and internationally on housing and housing rights, poverty, social exclusion, urban health and health equity.
He has worked with community and municipal officials in a dozen Canadian cities to develop local housing plans.
Shapcott has worked with Aboriginal housing and service providers nationally and in a number of communities to develop practical and effective strategies for Aboriginal housing under Aboriginal control.
He is co-author, with Jack Layton, of “Homelessness: The Making and Unmaking of a Crisis” (Penguin, 2008) and co-editor, with David Hulchanski, of “Finding Room: Policy Options for a Canadian Rental Housing Strategy” (CUCS Press, 2004).
He has worked on housing rights issues with the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
He is co-chair of Canada’s National Housing and Homelessness Network.
He is active internationally with the Habitat International Coalition and has worked with community partners on housing issues in Beijing, Istanbul and Nairobi, as well as seven U.S. cities.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Chair of the Big City Mayors’ Caucus at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) meeting in Ottawa (October 28, 2013), just launched the Fixing Canada’s Housing Crunch campaign.
This is FCM’s national campaign calling on:
all orders of government in Canada to focus on the high cost of housing, the most urgent financial issue facing Canadians — Fixing Canada’s Housing Crunch.
The majority of Ontario children receiving social assistance benefits (67%) are in lone-mother led families
The provincial child poverty rate is 12.6%, or 345,000 children (using 2005 Statistics Canada data on tax income)
That is, one of every eight children in Ontario is living in poverty
The rate declined slightly from 2004 to 2005, but has been on an upward trend since 2001
Ontario’s child poverty rate is the fourth highest in Canada – 44% of all low-income children in Canada live in Ontario
Poverty rates for children in Aboriginal, racialized, new immigrant and lone mother-led families are at least double the provincial rate
In 2007, a single mother with one young child on social assistance had a family income that was at least $5,357 below the poverty line
Full-time, full-year work at Ontario’s new minimum wage of $10.25 an hour generates earnings that are approximately $3,000 below the poverty line
70% of all low-income children in Ontario live in families where at least one parent is working part-time or full-time, yet the families are unable to earn enough to lift family income above the poverty line
Parents who are unable to be in the workforce and rely on social assistance struggle on welfare benefits that are as low now as they were in 1967
Average CEO salary has grown from 25 times the average Canadian income in 1980 to 250 times the average income in 2011
In 2009, Ontario spent $64 per person on affordable housing compared to the average among all provinces of $115 per person