Your Input: Canadian Poverty Consultation for Ontario Until October 2013

This video presents “David Hulchanski: Toronto’s Three Cities.”

  • A new report details three cities within Toronto: the wealthy city, the middle-class city and the low-income city.
  • But if David Hulchanski’s research holds true, there will only be two cities in the near future: the rich and the poor.
  • What has caused this disparity? And what can be done to reverse the cycle?

The Ontario government  had launched Breaking the Cycle: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy in 2008.

Poverty is no longer just a cycle wherein poorly-paid workers are struggling to “keep up with skyrocketing costs in housing, tuition and energy.”

This title should be revised and updated to ‘Breaking the Path to Poverty’ so as to be fitting to the reality of the present economy.

In today’s economy, the significant loss of  Canadian jobs due to outsourcing, dearth of middle-income jobs due to technology/digital revolution, and rampant job insecurity are all causal factors to almost instantaneous poverty for many hard-working individuals.

The shrinking middle class trend goes hand-in-hand with the growing poverty trend in this economy of  “anaemic GDP growth“, which is delineated by of the Toronto Star as follows.

Continue reading “Your Input: Canadian Poverty Consultation for Ontario Until October 2013”

2013 Ontario Budget: Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition’s Response

isarc's image: The Ontario Government's 2013 Budget
isarc’s image: The Ontario Government’s 2013 Budget

On May 2, 2013 the Ontario government of Canada released the proposed 2013 budget to be debated at Queen’s Park over the next couple of weeks.

The provincial government has reported that the Ontario Child Benefit provides financial support that has helped lift 40,000 children out of poverty.

According to the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC):

  • 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

Premier Kathleen Wynne highlighted the 2013 Budget’s proposed increases to the Ontario Child Benefit, which helps about one million low- to moderate-income children across the province in the following manner:

  • The Ontario government is proposing to increase the Ontario Child Benefit’s annual maximum payment by up to $210 over the next two years
    • This would raise the maximum payment from $1,100 to $1,310 per year for each child, helping parents with their family expenses

    • The Ontario Child Benefit helps low-income parents provide for their children, whether they are working or not

  • In order for parents to receive this year’s proposed increase of $110 this July, the Budget 2013 bill would have to be passed and proclaimed before July 1, 2013
    • The benefit would also increase by another $100 per year as of July 1, 2014

  • Parents don’t need to apply for the Ontario Child Benefit
    • To be eligible they must file their income taxes, register for the Canada Child Tax Benefit, have a child under age 18, and live in Ontario

The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC)‘s response to Ontario government’s 2013 budget is given in the following press release:

Continue reading “2013 Ontario Budget: Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition’s Response”

Canadian Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage in Ontario: Province-Wide Rallies on March 21, 2013

This video presents “Trish Hennessy – raising Ontario’s minimum wage”:

Ontario-Wide Rallies on March 21, 2013
Ontario-Wide Rallies on March 21, 2013

According to the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC), 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.

ISARC urges us to join or support the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage, which is a province-wide day of action as follows:

Melt the freeze! Raise the minimum wage!

Rallies at:

  • Other coordinated actions in cities across Ontario: Melt the freeze actions are happening in at least 10 cities across Ontario this week, including Ottawa, Hamilton, York Region, Kingston, Belleville, Welland, Kitchener-Waterloo and Suddbury!

on

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ontario’s minimum wage has been frozen for three years, while the cost of living continues to rise:

Continue reading “Canadian Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage in Ontario: Province-Wide Rallies on March 21, 2013”

Canadian Social Assistance Review: Ontario Commissioners Want Your Feedback By March 16, 2012

Canadian Social Assistance Review: Ontario Commissioners Want Your Feedback By March 16, 2012
Canadian Social Assistance Review: Ontario Commissioners Want Your Feedback By March 16, 2012

This is an update to my previous blogs:

” The Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario is tasked with carrying out a comprehensive review, and in June 2012 providing the government with specific recommendations and a concrete action plan for reforming the social assistance system.

In February 2012 the Commission released Discussion Paper 2: Approaches for Reform, which discusses different approaches to improving some of the key areas of the social assistance system. Through this paper, the Commission is seeking further input and advice from stakeholders and communities by March 16 to help frame recommendations to the government.

The following letter from both Yvonne Kelly (Chair of the Do the Math Committee of York Region and Co-Author of the York  Region Social Audit Report – “Behind the Masks – testimonials from those marginalized by income) and Pat Taylor (Co-Chair of the Social Planning Council of York Region and Member of the Ontario Social Planning Network):

  • gives an update on the Community Consultation & Discussion (held on March 7, 2012) in York Region (YR) for the Social Assistance Review Commission’s Paper 2 (second input paper)
  • and urges Canadians to submit your own feedback to the Commission in various ways, according to the instructions below

Continue reading “Canadian Social Assistance Review: Ontario Commissioners Want Your Feedback By March 16, 2012”