New critic roles for MPPs Walker, Thompson

Monday, September 30, 2013 10:49:18 EDT AM

Local MPPs Bill Walker and Lisa Thompson have been given new roles in Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak’s shadow cabinet.

Walker, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound’s PC MPP, is now critic for children and youth services. Thompson, Huron-Bruce’s PC MPP, takes on the critic role for small business, red tape and the Green Energy Act.

Meanwhile, veteran Simcoe-Grey PC MPP Jim Wilson stays on as the official opposition’s house leader.

Hudak, who survived a leadership challenge earlier this month, announced a major shuffle of his shadow cabinet Monday. A provincial election is expected as early as next spring.

Prior to the shuffle, Walker had served as deputy health critic for rural and northern Ontario, while Thompson had been deputy energy critic with a focus on the controversial Green Energy Act.

Public Consultations

26 July 2013

To develop a renewed Poverty Reduction Strategy, we continue to need your advice, guidance and expertise.

Public and online consultations for a renewed strategy will begin the week of August 6th. There will also be opportunities for people to provide additional input by organizing their own consultations in their communities and submitting their individual ideas. Check back here to have your say through an online feedback form and a toolkit to facilitate your own consultation.

Consultations will seek feedback on, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Elements of the current strategy that have worked well or need improvement
  • Refining execution of current policies, programs and initiatives
  • Continued barriers to success
  • New models of collaboration and partnership
  • Areas of special priority and urgency

Until online consultations start on August 6, you can send your thoughts on the following two questions to

  1. Based on your experience and perspective, what areas and/or specific initiatives do you believe have worked well in the first five years of the Poverty Reduction Strategy? Please share specific examples of success that you think should be continued or expanded.
  2. What do you think are the top three priorities to overcome poverty?

If possible, please try to limit your responses to 500 words or less per question.

An Ambitious Target

In our first Poverty Reduction Strategy, we set an ambitious target of reducing child poverty by 25 per cent over 5 years.

We set ambitious targets with the belief that we cannot and should not limit ourselves by lowering our expectations on what we think we can achieve. Despite our progress and due to an uncertain economic climate, it is unlikely that the target will be met. The ambitious target gave us something to strive toward, raised the bar for success, and set the foundation for future work.

One of the key considerations in the new strategy will be the views of stakeholders and Ontarians about the value of such a bold, stretch target. Has it helped to spur progress? Should it be maintained or altered for the future? Let us know what you think at

Collaboration Makes It Happen

The provincial government is one of many key contributors to building solutions to this deeply interdependent challenge. Everyone plays a role in building a good, strong economy and in reducing poverty. One of the biggest lessons of the first five years is that many innovative models for collaboration and partnership exist that result in some of the most creative and effective ways to address poverty.

Share your views on the importance of collaborative models working together. Tell us about any specific examples from which you think everyone can learn at

Ontario to Consult on Development of New Poverty Strategy


Ontario Government Renewing Its Commitment to Reduce Poverty

Province to Consult with Ontarians on Development of New Strategy

July 26, 2013 12:30 p.m.Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Ontario is renewing its commitment to reduce poverty with the launch of province-wide consultations to hear how government and communities can continue to work together to break the cycle of poverty.

Feedback from the consultations will contribute to the development of a new five-year Poverty Reduction Strategy for Ontario.

Breaking the Cycle: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy was launched in 2008, signalling a bold, new vision for a fairer society. Despite a difficult economic climate, more than 40,000 children and their families were lifted out of poverty between 2008 and 2010.

Government-led community consultations will begin in early August and continue into October. Individuals and organizations will also have the opportunity to conduct consultations in their communities and provide feedback.

Reducing poverty and creating more opportunities for families is part of the Ontario government’s plan to build a fairer, more prosperous society and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • More information and online consultations will be available on August 6, 2013.
  • Over 950,000 children in 510,000 families are benefiting from the Ontario Child Benefit. The benefit increased this July to a maximum annual payment of $1,210 for each child, and will increase to $1,310 in July 2014.
  • Over 690,000 children receive healthy food in Ontario schools through the Student Nutrition Program so they are better prepared to learn.
  • A government-appointed advisory panel is consulting with Ontarians to examine the province’s current minimum wage, which has increased 50 percent since 2003, from $6.85 to $10.25 an hour.
  • A single parent with a young child, working full-time at minimum wage and accessing all available benefits was living above the poverty line in 2012. The same single parent would have been living below the poverty line in 2003.
  • The Poverty Reduction Act, 2009 requires Ontario to develop a new poverty reduction strategy at least every five years.


“It is important that we build on the momentum of the first Poverty Reduction Strategy to create a more prosperous and fair Ontario. That is why we’re asking for input from Ontarians as we work towards a new strategy. Together, we can find practical solutions to help families break the cycle of poverty.”

Teresa Piruzza, Minister of Children and Youth Services

“Poverty erects barriers to health and happiness. A renewed poverty reduction strategy will help open the way to more opportunities for all Ontarians.”

Ted McMeekin, Minister of Community and Social Services