Expanding Opportunity For Families And Children

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

    TORONTO, March 23 /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 working or not.
    "Our province can only reach its full potential when everyone has the
chance to contribute all they can," said Premier McGuinty. "That's why
yesterday's budget took a giant step forward in expanding opportunity for
children and families. And that's why we went further than ending the clawback
of the National Child Benefit Supplement - we're providing assistance to every
low-income family."
    Budget 2007 will invest more than $2.1 billion in children through the
Ontario Child Benefit. It will provide low-income families with $250 per child
this July and grow to $1,100 per child by 2011.

    Other measures to benefit children 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
    -  Supporting new child care spaces by providing $25 million this year,
       rising to $50 million annually in 2008-09
    -  Providing 27,000 low-income working families with $100 a month in
       housing supplements
    -  Providing municipalities with $127 million from the housing trust to
       invest in their priorities such as affordable housing units
    -  Improving supports for at-risk families with children with an
       investment of over $5 million.

    "This isn't about making poverty comfortable - it's about increasing
opportunity so people can get out of poverty and get on with building a better
future for their kids," said Premier McGuinty. "At the start of the 21st
century, we know that to compete and win, we need everyone at his or her best
- and deep down we know it's right to be there for one another. So helping
children in low-income families to succeed is the right thing to do for our
society, and it's the smart thing to do for our economy.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Premier's Media Office, (416) 314-8975

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