October 17, 2009 09:00 ET

Reminder: October 17: Date to Eradicate Poverty


Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor ONTARIO - MEDIA ADVISORY--(Marketwire - Oct. 17, 2009) - The Ontario Coalition for Social Justice (OCSJ) calls on governments in this province to contribute to social and economic justice by adopting stronger measures to end poverty in Ontario.

The OCSJ marks every October 17th because the United Nations has declared the date annually to be the International Day to Eradicate Poverty. In our "developed" country, we lament that the gap in Ontario between the rich and poor is growing, instead of being reduced. Therefore, we call on all levels of government to take action.

We call on the Ontario Government to:
*adopt a good, green jobs strategy.

We call on the Federal Government to:
*adopt a poverty reduction strategy in order to support the provincial poverty reduction strategies which some provinces have legislated.

We call on municipal governments in Ontario to:
*appoint community roundtables or task forces to discuss poverty reduction initiatives which can be adopted at the local level.

The co-ordinator of the OCSJ, John Argue, observed: "OCSJ partners in the 7 cities in Ontario which just published Vital Signs reports say that they are just the latest reports illustrating how poverty affects people in the province. For example,

*in Guelph, in the last year, there was a 78% increase in recipients of E.I.
*the report in Oakville says that it has the third highest gap between rich and poor across
Canada, after Toronto and Vancouver.

*Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo all report that the poverty of seniors is increasing, demonstrating that the pension reforms of the 1960s for seniors in Canada are no longer sufficient.
*Toronto attracts people to live in a desirable city for many reasons, but increasingly, it's simply unaffordable. Is it now a city only for the rich?"

The OCSJ supported the intention last year of the Ontario Government to adopt a Poverty Reduction Strategy for the province, but we were disappointed by its decision to limit new initiatives to reducing only child poverty, rather than dealing with family poverty, or the poverty of all age groups in Ontario.

Across the country, Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec have all adopted poverty reduction strategies, and New Brunswick is developing one, but the Federal Government has still not indicated an interest in its strategy, despite the obvious fact that all provinces need federal government support to proceed with their own plans.

Municipally, despite the lack of funding for all local governments, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Ottawa, Peterborough, Toronto, and others have each created a local working group or task force to encourage the city to contribute what it can to reduce poverty at the local level.

The OCSJ believes the citizens of Ontario all need more action and now!


Contact Information

  • John Argue, OCSJ Co-ordinator
    Primary Phone: 416-979-2412