Ontario Liberals Expanding Opportunity

    McGuinty Says Ontario Child Benefit And New Poverty Reduction Strategy
    Will Deliver Fairness For Low-Income Families

    TORONTO, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - Ontario Liberals will expand opportunity by
providing more assistance to children and low-income families through the
Ontario Child Benefit - and by developing a comprehensive strategy to reduce
poverty, Premier Dalton McGuinty says.
    "Thanks to the hard work of Ontarians, we dug ourselves out of the huge
financial deficit the Harris Tory party left behind and now we have turned the
corner. That's why Ontario Liberals have taken a giant step forward in
restoring fairness and expanding opportunity for children and families,"
Premier McGuinty said.
    "This fundamental change to the social safety net is happening because,
in the Ontario we are building, together, we care about one another, we look
out for one another and we want everyone moving forward together."
    Ontario Liberals will invest more than $2.1 billion in children through
the Ontario Child Benefit. It already provides low-income families with $250
per child, which will grow to $1,100 per child by 2011.
    When it is fully implemented, it will help every low-income child in
Ontario - whether their parents are working or not. That's 600,000 families
and 1.3 million children.
    Ontario Liberals will build on the Ontario Child Benefit with their
Poverty Reduction Strategy. The Poverty Reduction Strategy will include
indicators and targets to measure and address poverty so we can track our
progress and target areas needing improvement.
    The Ontario Child Benefit and developing a poverty reduction strategy are
part of the Ontario Liberal Party's plan to expand opportunity for low-income

    Other measures planned include:

    -   Committing to full-day kindergarten that will free up over 20,000
        child care spaces and save parents an average of $6,400 on child care
        costs per child per year
    -   Creating a long-term strategy for affordable housing, including a mix
        of non-profit and co-operative housing, and taking advantage of
        creative financial options
    -   Joining with financial institutions to create a new program to help
        low-income Ontarians build equity and save for a home, their or their
        children's education, or to start their own business
    -   Creating a social venture capital fund at MaRS to find new solutions
        to difficult social problems
    -   Raising the minimum wage to $10.25 by 2010

    "The Ontario Child Benefit - and our other measures to help children from
low-income families - are all about building opportunity. We want Ontarians to
be able to get out of poverty and get on with building a better future for
their kids," McGuinty said.
    "Helping all Ontario children to succeed is the right thing to do for our
society. Helping all Ontarians move forward together is the smart thing to do
for our economy."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Ontario Liberal Party Media Relations, (416)
961-3800 Ext. 386

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