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QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to the release of Ontario’s annual Poverty Reduction Strategy report, which shows the government is not meeting its own poverty reduction targets.

“If this government truly wanted to help Ontarians living in poverty, it could start with putting a permanent end to legislated poverty by immediately doubling ODSP and OW rates.

It could ramp up investments in affordable and deeply affordable housing to make sure that everyone has a safe place to live.

Instead, the Premier’s government continues to force Ontarians with disabilities to live on less than $15,000 per year and downloads poverty costs onto municipalities that simply don’t have the resources to respond effectively.

Poverty is a moral issue and a financial one. It costs this province $33 billion per year.

And still this government refuses to provide any real measures to address the root causes of the crises we’re facing.

I continue to call on the Premier to listen to disability and poverty experts by:

  • Immediately doubling social assistance rates and tying all future increases to inflation
  • Reversing past downloading decisions that have put unsustainable burdens on municipal budgets by funding 50 per cent of shelter and community housing costs while allowing municipalities to maintain management control.
  • Committing sufficient funding for permanent supportive housing to ensure that everyone has an affordable place to call home.”
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