Social-assistance rates in Ontario should ‘set off alarm bells’: Report

Friday, August 18th, 2023

The province’s income-of-last-resort program pays so little that Ontario Works recipients must survive on just 37 per cent of the funds that would be required for them to have a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs, and enough money to maintain a very basic standard of living. That’s the conclusion of a new analysis of social-assistance rates in Ontario.

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What the new Ontario budget means for those on social assistance

Friday, March 24th, 2023

In this budget, as in all its previous changes to social assistance, the government did not introduce any new funding for the province’s nearly 400,000 Ontario Works beneficiaries. Ontario Works is social assistance for those who are not disabled but cannot work. The program provides a maximum of $733 per month for a single adult, an amount that has not changed since 2018, when the current government halved planned increases . 

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‘The rich and everybody else’: Financial inequality in Canada keeps growing 

Thursday, January 26th, 2023

Fifty per cent of  households are earning less than $16,000 to $17,000. That’s even after taxes and transfers and benefits. That gap between the 50 per cent of the population, roughly 8 million people or more, and that top 1 per cent of earners, a very small slice of the working population, is huge. And it’s growing bigger… Capitalism and democracy have always been in contestation. People want votes. People want rights. And they see that, usually, they can’t get them, because there’s a whole bunch of rich people who aren’t willing to do it.

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What a new food-bank reports tells us about deep poverty

Thursday, October 20th, 2022

“We are failing people every step of the way”… Policy-makers have a selection of choices before them to slow or halt that cascade… but they boil down to this: either give people access to more money to buy food or help the charitable sector, like food banks, with more resources to bridge the gap. Right now, Yalnizyan adds, “the governments are doing none of the above.” 

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‘It breaks my heart’: Ontarians on social assistance are struggling even more amid inflation

Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

ODSP recipients recently got a 5 per cent rate increase. But advocates say that doesn’t make up for decades of neglect — or account for sky-high inflation… The PCs have repeatedly said that they will tie future rate increases for ODSP to inflation in law — each rate increase would, therefore, in some way keep up with the actual buying power of what recipients get in each cheque… At time of publication, no legislation to this effect is before the house. 

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