QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Jim McDonell challenged the Government on their Poverty Reduction Strategy today during Question Period, citing a record of missed targets during the implementation of the previous Strategy.
“The Government’s 2008-2013 Poverty Reduction Strategy missed its main target of a 25% reduction in child poverty in Ontario by a very wide margin” – MPP Jim McDonell commented. “Their new promises are ambitious, but lack the economic and policy backing. The Liberals give promises of relief with one hand and take Ontarians’ disposable incomes with the other through higher taxation, hydro rates, less access to training, cutting OHIP coverage from essential items such as blood sugar test strips and other service cuts. You can’t reduce poverty by driving more people into it”.
Anti-poverty groups across the Province have highlighted how the Government needs to do more to deliver on its commitments to reduce child poverty and end homelessness.
“Many working parents in Ontario will be forced, under the Government’s new system, to either pay more for childcare, drive longer distance to a licensed daycare or forgo an income to allow one parent to stay at home” – MPP McDonell continued. “Many families face choosing between paying their hydro bill or putting food on the table. Job-seekers can’t find good, stable local jobs because businesses are being driven away by the high cost of doing business in Ontario. These contributing factors to poverty must be tackled immediately, and the Liberal Government has ignored our proposals on the matter. Lack of good healthcare is also correlated to poverty. The Government’s promises on health for low-income families ring hollow in the light of their recent cuts to education and health care. Under the Liberals’ watch, our treasured public services are not safe and Ontarians in need are most at risk.”