QUEEN’S PARK- In the legislature on Monday, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek NDP MPP and Poverty Reduction critic, Paul Miller, called on the Wynne government to stop letting down Ontario families living in poverty and listen to the recommendations of the 2017 Hunger Report.
“According to the Hunger Report, nearly 500,000 Ontarians visited food banks this year. Of those, 166,000 were children. The reality is that hunger brutally affects many Ontarians, including children,” Miller said.
The report, released Monday by the Ontario Association of Food Banks, is the latest in a growing body of evidence revealing shocking levels of poverty throughout the province. Both the Income Security: A Roadmap for Change report drafted by the provincially-appointed working group and the Ontario Campaign 2000 Report to End Child and Family Poverty shared similar troubling outlooks.
“Kathleen Wynne has let down families struggling in poverty, and continues to ignore the overwhelming evidence highlighting just how dire the situation has become,” said Miller.
Providing affordable housing and adequate social assistance always top the list.
“There is much more our government needs to do to fully address poverty, and the reports I mentioned give us clear guidance on how to do that. We can address poverty in Ontario – but we need to get moving on these recommendations right away.”
Last year, Miller tabled a private member’s bill that would create an evidence-based Social Assistance Research Commission to advise on what reasonable social assistant rates should be in each part of Ontario each year.
“What is important about this bill is that it ensures social assistance rates will adjust according to needs, and that Ontario’s poorest will have enough to get by,” said Miller. “The Wynne Liberals have been holding up this bill, and if they’re serious about tackling poverty in Ontario, that needs to stop.”