Provincial spending targets poverty – Ontario – Provincial spending targets poverty
March 17, 2008
Kerry Gillespie, Queen’s Park Bureau

Premier Dalton McGuinty kickstarted his plan to reduce the number of Ontarians living in poverty by announcing three programs this morning.

McGuinty said his government will:

* provide municipalities with $100 million to repair existing social housing buildings and make it possible for municipalities to borrow an additional $500 million.
* spend $135 million over three years on dental services for low-income Canadians. This is up from its initial promise of a $45 million low-income dental plan.
* spend $32 million over three years to deliver nutritious meals and snacks to children and youth in schools and community centres across Ontario, doubling the existing funding.

“Ontario is only at its best when all of us are working, building and dreaming together,” McGuinty said in a news release.

“Supporting each other is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do, and part of our plan for a stronger economy.”

There are more than one million Ontarians living in poverty.

During the election, McGuinty promised to introduce a comprehensive strategy to reduce poverty, and to release reduction targets – so government can be held accountable – within a year.

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