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 atwww.ontario.ca/breakingthecycle 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

Ontario Poverty Reduction Consultations 2.0 – Update & Discussion Questions

By late July 2013, the Ontario government plans to start consultations on the second phase of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), which are expected to be completed by the end of September. The first 5 year phase of poverty reduction efforts focused on reducing child poverty by 25% between 2008 and 2013. Ontario Campaign 2000 and others have been tracking the government’s progress in following through on poverty reduction policies and keeping to the first PRS’ targets and timelines.

Child Poverty Trends in Ontario:

  • The most recent data from Statistics Canada shows that the overall child poverty rate in Ontario declined by 9.2% between 2008 and 2011 (Low Income Measure After Tax).
  • In 2011, the child poverty rate in Ontario was 13.8%
  • In 2011, 371,000 children lived in poverty in Ontario[1].
  • The 2012 Ontario Report Card explores social assistance reform, child care, housing, youth issues, employment and more. You can download it here for more context: http://www.campaign2000.ca/Ontario/reportcards/2013ReportCardOnChildPovertyOntario.pdf

Poverty Reduction Strategy Refreshers:

You can find Campaign 2000’s latest chart from the 2012 report card below on page 3. Read it for a sense of key commitments and whether or not they had been met as of February 2013.

Review the Poverty Reduction Strategy document (2008). To see what was proposed, visit http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/breakingthecycle/report/index.aspx.

You can also check out The Poverty Reduction Act (2009) outlining government’s responsibility to assess the current strategy, consult the public and formulate the next PRS:


A questionnaire has been circulated to Poverty Task Force members for the pre-consultation planning.  Look for more to come on the community and partner consultations.

[1] Statistics Canada.  CANSIM Table 202-0802 using LIM AT for 2011.