Make Ontario a world leader in social assistance and income security!
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Poverty costs taxpayers an estimated $32-to-38-billion per year. It is expensive because those living in poverty have higher rates of chronic disease, mental health, injury, involvement in the criminal justice system, and lost economic productivity. Unfortunately, our social assistance programs are both dysfunctional and inadequate to address the issue.
Our social assistance programs leave Ontarians in poverty. In 2014, a single adult on ODSP received on average a total benefit income of $14,028 per year; that is $6,783 below the poverty line. A couple with one child on OW received only $25,936 per year, which is $15,686 below the poverty line. On top of this, the system is complex, outdated, and exceedingly challenging for applicants to navigate.
In 2016, the provincial government formed the Income Security Reform Working Group and assigned them the daunting task of providing recommendations to transform the social assistance system in our province. On Nov. 2, 2017 the group released its recommendations in the form of a 10-year road map that, if implemented, could make Ontario a world-leader in income security policy. Highlights include: adopting a minimum income standard, expanding and extending universal health benefits for all low-income persons, and transforming the culture of the social assistance program.
Even though this report was commissioned by the Liberal government, there have been no promises to follow through on the recommendations. We are asking you to sign this petition today to send a message to Kathleen Wynne, her cabinet leadership, and the leaders of the other provincial parties that it is time for them to collaborate and use these recommendations as a framework for building legislation that will end poverty in Ontario! Its the right thing to do for our budget, our economy, and most importantly out of compassion for those living in poverty every day.
Income Security Reform Working Group full report: https://www.ontario.ca/page/income-security-roadmap-change
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