Expanding Opportunity For Families And Children

    Ontario Child Benefit To Help 600,000 Families And 1.3 Million Children

    PICKERING, ON, March 26 /CNW/ - The Ontario Child Benefit introduced in
the 2007 Budget will expand opportunity by providing more assistance to
children in all low-income families - whether their parents are able to work
or not, Minister of Children and Youth Services Mary Anne Chambers said today.
    "Our government is serious about helping all Ontario children get a good
start in life and to help low-income families break out of the poverty cycle,"
said Chambers. "It's the right thing to do for our children and the smart
thing to do for our society."
    Ontario's Budget 2007 will invest an additional $2.1 billion in
low-income families with children over the next five years through the Ontario
Child Benefit. It will provide low-income families with up to $250 per child
this July and grow to a maximum of $1,100 per child by 2011. These reforms
would go well beyond ending the deduction of the National Child Benefit
Supplement from social assistance, investing four times as much money to help
more than twice as many children.
    "Our government is continuing to transform Ontario's social assistance
system and fundamentally changing how children receive the benefits they need
and deserve," said Wayne Arthurs, MPP for Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge. "This
initiative will ultimately help hundreds of thousands more children than those
who currently receive social assistance."
    Other measures from the 2007 Budget that will benefit children and
families include:

    -  Increasing social assistance rates by 2 per cent - a 7 per cent
       increase since 2003
    -  Raising the minimum wage to $10.25 by 2010
    -  Enhancing child care funding by $25 million in 2007-08, growing to
       $50 million annually starting in 2008-09
    -  Improving supports for at-risk families with children with an
       investment of over $5 million.

    "In addition to helping all children in low-income families, the Ontario
Child Benefit also means parents would be able to move off social assistance
without worrying about losing support for their children," said Minister of
Community and Social Services Madeleine Meilleur. "This is an historic
investment in our most vulnerable so that they may have every chance to

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Tricia Edgar, Minister's Office, (416)
212-7161, (416) 573-7728 (Cell); Anne Machowski-Smith, Ministry of Children
and Youth Services, (416) 325-5156

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