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

LIVING WAGE CAMPAIGN

NEW FUNDING STREAM

  • 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. 

INCOME SUPPORT

  • 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. 

HOUSING SUPPORTS

  • 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