This report highlights our progress – and what we plan to do next – in our efforts to reduce child poverty, eliminate chronic homelessness, help people move towards employment, increase food security, develop an action plan for income security reform and invest in programs and community-designed solutions.
Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy is based on the vision that every Ontarian has the opportunity to achieve their full potential and to contribute to a prosperous and healthy province. This report shares information about progress, profiles local poverty reduction efforts, and highlights areas where we can better support people by creating fairness and opportunity for all Ontarians.
Cumulative investments can reduce poverty and improve quality of life by providing meaningful supports to people at every age and life stage. In 2017, we took action to empower individuals and families to confidently navigate key milestones, whether they are having a child, exploring postsecondary education, entering the workforce, seeking retraining for a new career, or shifting into retirement. We integrated our supports and services to better meet user needs. This builds on our earlier actions and is making a difference in the lives of Ontarians. The Poverty ReductionStrategy Indicators (see Chapter 5) measure our progress.
Helping Ontarians realize their potential in a changing economy requires a responsive and adaptable system of employment, income and social supports. We are making progress on reducing the gap between income and the cost of living through increases to the minimum wage, the introduction of OHIP+, housing supplements, child care fee subsidies, full-day kindergarten, and free average tuition. We are building on the findings of the Income Security Reform Working Group and parallel working groups with First Nation and Indigenous partners to reform income security. In addition, we are piloting a basic income that will help inform our longer-term plans to better support people living on low incomes.
We will continue to collaborate with the Federal government on their poverty reduction strategy, and with Indigenous partners, municipalities and service partners, to achieve results and improve incomes for Ontarians. And as always, we are excited to continue to engage and learn from Ontarians on how best to reduce poverty and improve outcomes for all.