Province looking for innovative ideas to reduce poverty

The Ontario Government has launched province-wide consultations on how to help reduce poverty.

The province wants to hear ideas from people who have experienced poverty, community organizations, Indigenous communities and organizations, and other partners.

Todd Smith, the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, said they want to figure out how to break the cycle of poverty to ensure everyone has a chance to succeed and contribute to their community.

The goal is to help drive actions to reduce poverty by setting specific and realistic targets, as well as prioritizing actions and initiatives.

The government will be asking Ontario residents how the province can encourage job creation and connect people to employment; provide people with the right supports and services, and lower the cost of living and make life more affordable.

Organizations and individuals can provide written submissions to prso@ontario.ca beginning today. An online survey will be posted on Ontario.ca in January 2020 for approximately 60 days where organizations and individuals are encouraged to submit feedback.

“One in seven people in Ontario lives in poverty, and that is too many,” said Minister Smith. “By creating an environment where everyone is able to reach their full potential, we’re helping people across Ontario put food on the table and provide for their families. Our government remains committed to protecting the most vulnerable people of Ontario by continuing to make investments to make life more affordable while proposing new strategies to meet their needs.”

The consultations build on the government’s new Low-income Individuals and Families Tax Credit, which will result in Ontario Personal Income Tax being reduced or eliminated for about 1.1 million people. The government is also investing an additional $31 million in the Ontario Child Benefit, for a total of roughly $1.2 billion this year.