Responding to Budget 2014
On July 14th, the Ontario government re-introduced Budget 2014. Find Ontario Campaign 2000's analysis in our media release.
Can Kathleen Wynne change the conversation on poverty?
Op Ed by Leilani Farha, executive director of Canada Without Poverty, published on Sunday July 13. The article explores the challenges and possibilities for poverty elimination faced by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Read it on the Toronto Star Opinion/Commentary page
Ontario Election 2014: Where do the parties stand on poverty reduction?
Today, Ontario Campaign 2000 and the 25in5 Network for Poverty Reduction released the results of a survey sent to the Liberals, NDP and Ontario PC party on their anti-poverty commitments. All three parties committed to the Poverty Reduction Act in 2009 so it is important to know where they stand in advance of election day on June 12th.
Read our joint press release on the survey results and the grid summarizing the parties' responses.
Today's Toronto Star features a story on the grid – read the story here. Read the responses from all three parties here: The Ontario Liberal Party Response, Ontario NDP Response and Ontario PC Party Response.
Ontario General Election – Get Involved!
There are many ways you can get involved in the provincial election before June 12, 2014. You can ask questions about poverty when candidates come to your front door, speak up at all-candidates debates, post questions on social media and submit an Op Ed to local media outlets. Download our 2014 Ontario Election Resource Kit for helpful information and policy recommendations from Ontario Campaign 2000 and our sister coalitions.
We will be posing questions to candidates about poverty over social media – follow us on Twitter at @Campaign2000. You can also visit 25in5.ca to download the infographics and tweet, post, email and share widely! A new infographic will be released every week during the election.
Mother's and Caregivers Send Recommendations to Party Leaders
Photo from Mother's Day Breakfast May 2014
On May 9, 2014 Ontario Campaign 2000, Family Service Toronto and the Income Security Advocacy Centre partnered with Ryerson University's School of Social Work, CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy and the Ryerson Students' Union to host our third annual Mother's Day Breakfast. Each year, the breakfast honours the advocacy work of mothers and caregivers living in low income.
This year's event was planned by a dedicated committee of mothers and the program included performances by the very talented Domanique Grant, inspiring speeches from peer advocates and a recognition of FST's 100th year providing services and fighting poverty.
Participants were asked to brainstorm ways the Ontario Government could improve the lives of Mothers and Caregivers in Ontario. The women came up with 35 good ideas which were compiled into a list and have been sent to provincial party leaders Andrea Horwath, Tim Hudak, Mike Schreiner and Kathleen Wynne. Read the letter and mother's ideas
Ontario Campaign 2000 and other organizations release open letter pressing for child support rule change
Dear Minister McMeekin, Minister Piruzza and Minister Sousa,
As you make your final decisions about Budget 2014, we are sharing with you an open letter endorsed by over 40 organizations across Ontario.
The endorsers are encouraging you to take specific steps to recognize the best interests of nearly 19,000 Ontario children in families receiving social assistance who are entitled to receive child support. These children are unable to gain the benefit of these payments because under current OW and ODSP rules, their lone parent's benefits are reduced dollar-for-dollar. This reduction, however, runs directly counter to your government's continuing commitment to reduce child poverty in Ontario.
As an initial signal of positive reform in the area of child support, the letter's endorsers urge you to immediately implement two recommendations made by the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance:
1. End dollar-for-dollar deductions of child support payments from lone parents' income benefits and instead treat those payments in the same way as income earned from employment,
2. Give lone parents receiving social assistance the right to choose whether to pursue child support.
Coordinator, Social Reform/Ontario Campaign 2000
Family Service Toronto
plus over 40 organizations listed who are endorsing the letter
Read Toronto Start article Province urged to allow women on welfare to keep child support (April 17, 2014)
Campaign 2000 Hosts Webinar on Improving Child Support for Mothers on Social Assistance in Ontario
The Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario (October 2012) recommended treating child support payments the same as earned income. This would mean that single parents receiving social assistance could retain the first $200 of their child support payments and half of any amounts in excess of $200, instead of having their benefits reduced dollar-for-dollar for any child support they receive. The Commission also recommended making the pursuit of child support voluntary. There has been no action to date.
Campaign 2000, in partnership with the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC), hosts a province-wide webinar On Feb. 6th, 2014 in which we discuss some key important issues, invites speakers from Quebec and Ontario to share their analysis and recommendations and together are working to press for positive change in the treatment of child support for mothers on social assistance.
Below are two Power Point presentations that are presented at our webinar:
- Income Security Advocacy Centre: Child Support Payments Deduction from Social Assistance – Backgrounder
- FAFMRQ: ENGLISH - Child support and social programs: a discrimination against children! & FRENCH - Le traitement des pensions alimentaires pour enfants dans les programmes sociaux: une discrimination envers les enfants les plus pauvres!
Release of 2013 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Ontario
Ontario Campaign 2000 released its annual Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Ontario on Tuesday November 26th in Toronto. The 2013 report card, entitled Beyond Austerity: Investing in Ontario’s Future, calls for renewed all-party commitment to eradicating child and family poverty and for investments that will address the serious challenges faced by families in communities across the province. Policy recommendations are offered to all political parties to redress the persistence of child poverty in Ontario along with province-wide and local, community level data.
Take Action! Send a message to your MPP and join us in calling for bold action on poverty reduction in Ontario: http://togetherontario.org/poverty/
Ontario Camapaign 2000 Poverty Reduction Strategy
Ontario Campaign 2000 made a submission of policy recommendations regarding the next Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy, that we expect will be announced in December 2013. To learn more about our proposals, read our submission here.
Witnesses to poverty youth volunteer project
“When you see an injustice, you have the responsibility to act.” June Callwood
We have finished recruiting volunteers for our Summer 2013 WITNESSES TO POVERTY PROJECT. Our youth volunteers are earning their community hours by working on their poverty-themed art projects, which will be presented at the end of this summer in Toronto. Please continue to check back for further details on the location.
The C2000/FST Witnesses to Poverty project offers youth an opportunity to learn about and reflect on key poverty issues and to contribute creative artwork to a multi-media display. Under the guidance of Campaign 2000 and Family Service Toronto staff, youth volunteers will be able to apply and develop their artistic and creative skills to create reflections on poverty in Toronto. Participants will also learn what they can do to influence positive social change to address poverty through art and other actions. Art pieces from the project may be put on display at Family Service Toronto (FST) and/or other public events. Photographs, videos and art submissions may be used in future Campaign 2000 work.For more details, please contact us at: 416-595-9230, ext. 226/244.
Budget 2013: Strong Steps Forward but Still Missing the Target
TORONTO-The 2013 Ontario budget makes strong steps forward in some areas but does not fully increase the Ontario Child Benefit, the cornerstone of Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy. At the same time, the budget starts the process of social assistance reform. Further action is still required in other areas that will reduce child poverty in the province. Read full press release
Campaign 2000 Releases its 2012 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Ontario
Campaign 2000 released its annual Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Ontario on Thursday, February 28th 2013 in Toronto. The 2012 report card, entitled Strengthening Families for Ontario’s Future, calls on Ontario’s minority government to reduce child and family poverty in the 2013 Budget. Policy recommendations are offered to all political parties to redress the persistence of child poverty in Ontario.
Read our Press Releases - in English and in French
To read or download a copy of the provincial Report Card in English or French, please click on the following links:
2012 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Ontario: Strengthening Families for Ontario’s Future in English; and
Renforcer les familles pour l'avenir de l'Ontario - Rapport 2012 sur la pauvreté des enfants et des familles en Ontario in French
Ontario Liberal party candidates urged to make child & family poverty a priority
On the eve of the Ontario Liberal party leadership convention and the selection of Ontario’s next Premier, Ontario Campaign 2000 writes each candidate urging them to make ending family & child poverty their priority as Premier.
Read full letter
Responding to the Social Assistance Report
Ontario Campaign 2000 has reviewed the final report released by the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario on Wednesday October 24th under Commissioners Frances Lankin and Dr. Munir. Read OntC2000 recommendations in response to the report.
Modernizing Child Care in Ontario
Ontario Campaign 2000 welcomes the Ministry of Education's discussion paper that acknowledges the need to continue the public discussions about a system of early learning and childcare for Ontario. Read our submission on Modernizing Child Care in Ontario.
It’s time to build dignity into Ontario social assistance
The Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario is preparing its final report containing specific recommendations and a concrete action plan for reforming the province’s social assistance system. The Toronto Star published on Oct. 9 an op-ed outlining five tests that a broad coalition of groups from across the province, including Ontario Campaign 2000, developed over the summer to review the Commission’s findings. The full text of the piece can be accessed online.
Join Income Security Advocacy Centre's "Call-in Coffee Break" to save the CSUMB!
On Friday, Sept. 28th take 5 minutes to tell your MPP to reverse the cuts to housing benefits for people on OW and ODSP!
Every month, thousands of people in Ontario need the Community Start-up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) and the Home Repairs Benefit (HRB) to stay housed or establish a new home. These benefits work because:
- They are targeted to people on social assistance (OW and ODSP) who are among the most vulnerable in Ontario. People on assistance have very low incomes and cannot afford these expenses otherwise.
- They provide direct assistance. The benefits help people move into a new home, pay rent or utility arrears, get major repairs done to their home, or help them move to safer or more secure housing.
- If CSUMB is denied, there is a right to appeal. This ensures fairness, accountability and transparency so that people in need will not be unfairly turned away.
The provincial government’s budget measures have eliminated these critically important programs.
Read full event announcement
Witnesses of Poverty - Youth Art Gallery
Ontario Campaign 2000 presents the Witnesses of Poverty Youth Art Gallery on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 from 6-8pm. The event is being held at The 519 Community Centre located at 519 Church Street. The exhibition includes art pieces created this summer by youth volunteers that represent their experiences witnessing poverty in Toronto. Through this event the volunteers will raise awareness of poverty through various art mediums including film, photography and paintings.
Youth Day 2012: Artistic expressions of poverty
Art was the medium as Serve! Youth volunteers focused on the state of child and family poverty in Ontario at Youth Day on July 22nd at Dundas Square in downtown Toronto. The volunteers staffed a booth sponsored by Campaign 2000 and organized by Family Service Toronto’s Social Reform unit.