25 in 5 Response to Throne Speech

    Throne speech good start on Poverty Reduction: Decisive action on next
    steps critical

    TORONTO, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - In the first Throne Speech of its mandate, the
Ontario government sent an encouraging message that addressing poverty is an
important part of the Provincial agenda.
    Today the government confirmed its commitment to anti-poverty targets and
indicators and to a multi-pronged agenda to tackle poverty in Ontario.
    The government must now commit to province-wide consultations which
include racialized communities, Aboriginal populations, people with
disabilities, newcomers and other groups. This means a focused, six-month
consultation to secure input while ensuring momentum.
    We are also looking for a commitment that the strategy address the
situation of low income individuals and families without children.
    We welcome the creation of the Cabinet Committee to bring together
ministries dealing with health, social assistance, education, labour, finance
and others to ensure that a comprehensive plan is developed - a plan that
addresses childcare, housing, good jobs at decent wages, and adequate income
security systems.
    And we applaud the government's action to implement its promise for a
dental plan for the working poor. We see this as a solid down-payment on a
plan that will help low-income people afford basic services and pursue
employment choices that can make life better for themselves and their
    In the short term, we need to hear more about the Cabinet committee's
makeup and mandate and its consultation plan, and government must work with
the community to set appropriate targets and indicators. Finally, and most
importantly, it is critical that appropriate resources are dedicated to
poverty reduction in the 2008 provincial budget.

    The 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction is a multi-sectoral network
comprised of 60 local and provincial organizations and individuals working on
eliminating poverty in the province.

For further information:

For further information: Cindy Wilkey, Income Security Advocacy Centre,
(416) 597-5820, ext 5152; Jacquie Maund, Ontario Coordinator Campaign 2000,
(416) 595-9230, ext 241; John Campey, Executive Director, Community Social
Planning Council of Toronto, (416) 351-0095 x 260

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