Poverty Task Force/United Way Community Update #110

Dear Colleagues, 

On November 24th, 1989, all federally represented parties voted unanimously in the House of Commons to end child poverty by the year 2000. The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) has been a main tool for the government to reduce poverty rates.

A recent Parliamentary Budget Office report shows that approximately 791,000 families will have their payments reduced by an average $606 in the 2022/2023 benefit year as a result of having received pandemic benefits such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). Those families to be hardest hit are led by single Mothers with moderate earned incomes of $33,000 and multiple children. 

The Government of Canada has repaid full clawed back amounts from the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) to low-income seniors and protected future GIS payments with legislative changes. Campaign 2000 has initiated a petition and letter writing campaign to the government asking for amnesty on clawbacks to low income families and to protect future CCB payments.  Learn more here

Maytree released the 2021 Welfare in Canada report. This annual report breaks down the welfare incomes available to 4 types of households that qualify for social assistance in each province and territory. The Ontario breakdown is found here



  • Community Services Recovery Fund is a new federal grant ($400 mill) to support charities and non-profits for pandemic recovery. The United Way of Bruce Grey, Community Foundation Grey Bruce and the Red Cross are managing the grant application process.  
  • Visit www.communityservicesrecoveryfund.ca to learn more about how to apply to the Community Services Recovery Fund. The Fund will accept applications from Jan 6, 2023 until Feb 21, 2023. 


  • The Ontario government has announced new income supports in the Fall 2022 Economic Statement:
    • Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) the monthly earnings exemption will increase from $200 to $1,000 per month. Each dollar earned above that amount would reduce benefits by 25 cents. This is in addition to a 5% increase in monthly payments to ODSP recipients (about $1,227/month).  Core allowances under the ODSP will be adjusted to inflation annually, beginning in July 2023.
    • Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities program will be adjusted to the maximum monthly amount and annually to inflation, beginning in July 2023.
    • Gas Tax and Fuel Tax Rates the rate of tax on gasoline and fuel (diesel) will remain at 9/litre until Dec 31, 2023.
    • Guaranteed Annual Income System payment will be doubled for all recipients for 12 months starting January 2023, a maximum increase of almost $1,000 per person in 2023. 
  • Utility Support: The federal government has announced a grant program ($250 mill) to help  low and medium income households convert from oil furnaces to electric heat pumps in 2023.  Eligible homeowners will be able to combine the new grant with existing federal and provincial programs that assist with home heating up to $5,000. 
  • Climate Action Incentive payments will increase in the spring 2023. 


  • Habitat for Humanity Canada has released the results of a new national survey revealing Canadians’ attitudes towards the affordable housing crisis in Canada and sheds light on the growing barriers to housing and homeownership. 
  • Bill 23 – Habitat for Humanity spoke to the Bill benefiting non-profit housing providers to deliver more affordable homes and more quickly. And with some thoughtful modifications it can be improved to be an even better platform for subsequent action on housing. Read more here.
  • Bill 23 – Association of Municipalities of Ontario spoke to changes to infrastructure financing that would shift costs from developers to municipalities, strip municipalities of the tools required to manage growth and create serious risks to the environment and human health at a time when the impacts of climate change are evident and urgent. Read more here
  • Home Takeover Pilot : the Grey Bruce Health Unit released its initial findings, education materials and website page
  • On the Way Home: is a series of podcasts that brings together voices and issues involved in ending homelessness. 

Stay well, Jill 

Poverty Task Force Response to Bill 23 More Homes Built Faster Act

Dear Colleagues, 

On October 25th, the government introduced Bill 23 which according to Minister Clark is intended to contribute to the province’s plan to build 1.5 million homes by 2031. The broad range of initiatives rolled into the bill include tax incentives and measures to deregulate and streamline development and planning processes. 

A number of serious concerns with Bill 23 have been identified including: 

  • that the Bill gives the Minister the power to cancel rental housing protection programs that ensure that when apartment buildings are redeveloped, the affordable units are replaced at affordable prices; 
  • it proposes to cap the number of affordable units municipalities can request to be built as part of new developments at 5%; 
  • it proposes to set a limit to how long these units can be rented out at below-market rents of 25 years;
  • that the Bill lacks specific initiatives to incentivize the construction of affordable rental housing, and in particular “deeply affordable” rental housing; 
  • that the Bill does not commit the Ontario government to any direct investment in the creation of deeply affordable public and non-profit housing; 
  • the Bill will override the Planning Act of Ontario with impunity and no right to appeal by municipalities or citizens;
  • the Bill will decrease the preservation of and access to greenspace;
  • by reducing affordable rental housing, decreasing preservation of and access to greenspace, and changing policies related to land use planning, the built environment, and climate-resiliency, Bill 23 impacts disportionately on people affected by poverty and socio-economic marginalization.   

Taking Action

More Local Action 

  • Grey County Planning Department submitted its concerns to the Province and the associated consultations posted on the Environmental Registry and Ontario Regulatory Registry. Read the full report here.
  • Grey Bruce Climate Action Network members have been working with local councils and staff in recent years to build resilience to climate impacts. They have written about the need for a “complete community” that protects “its wetlands and natural areas to reduce flooding, improve biodiversity, reduce greenhouse gas emission through energy efficiency, high density mixed housing and easy access to services. 
  • Beaver Valley Community Group: sought to speak with MPP Rick Byers at his office during a protest

Other Action

  • Canadian Environmental Law Associationurges the provincial government in their submission to pause the passage of Bill 23 to allow full consideration of all the public input and advice that is received. 
  • Consultation opportunities: There are multiple ways to comment directly on changes to legislation and regulations via Bill 23 — for example, the Planning Act, A Place to Grow and the Provincial Policy Statement are all facing changes proposed in Bill 23. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) has created a helpful list of all the dates for the numerous consultation deadlines in November and December 2022. 

Vital Conversation on Housing in Grey Bruce

Stay well, Jill