Ontario has become the Child Poverty Centre of Canada

    TORONTO, Sept. 12 /CNW/ - The Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO)
today launched its cross-community campaign to make poverty reduction a
priority election issue across Ontario.
    Social planning councils in ten local communities across Ontario will
conduct public events over the next two weeks to promote the Poverty Reduction
Strategy released yesterday in Ottawa by National Campaign 2000. Local
councils and community partners will urge all political candidates to support
specific measures for reducing child and family poverty in Ontario.
    Commenting on data that shows Ontario's share of Canada's children living
in poverty has increased significantly since 2000 compared to other provinces,
Janet Gasparini, SPNO Chair and Executive Director of the Sudbury SPC, said:

    "With 44% of Canada's poor children, Ontario has become the child poverty
    centre of Canada, and there has been no measurable progress in the past
    five years. The proposals in Campaign 2000's Poverty Reduction Strategy
    are concrete and achievable. We expect candidates from all political
    parties running for election in communities across Ontario to respond by
    committing to real targets and timelines for poverty reduction as one of
    their top priorities."

    The National Report proposes a number of wide-ranging recommendations for
joint action by the federal and provincial governments to reduce child poverty
by at least 25% by 2012 and 50% by 2017.
    Social planning council leaders from Sudbury, Cornwall, Cambridge,
Halton, and Toronto assembled in Toronto today to launch the cross-community
campaign on behalf of their own and five other communities across the
province. Joey Edwardh, Executive Director of Community Development Halton

    "Poverty is a concern of Ontarians in all parts of the province. It is
    important that they know there are demonstrated ways for the next Ontario
    Government to seriously reduce child and family poverty in the next five
    and ten year period."

For further information:

For further information: Peter Clutterbuck, SPNO Coordinator, Tel. (416)
653-7947, Cell Phone (416) 738-3228, pclutterbuck@spno.ca,

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