From “10 Things You Might Not Know About Poverty In Canada,” George Stroumboulopoulos shared with us the following insights regarding poverty in Canada:
- It’s hard to measure.
- It varies widely between different groups.
- Child poverty is high in Canada.
- It’s a significant burden on the economy.
- Many Canadians spend too much on shelter.
- Poverty can shorten your life.
- Many don’t have enough to eat.
- Homelessness is widespread.
- Debt levels are on the rise.
- Early investment can yield big dividends.
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?”