Ontario Needs a Poverty Reduction Plan, say advocates

    TORONTO, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - With 345,000 poor children living in Ontario and
the gap between rich and poor at a record high, action is needed to ensure
that child poverty will no longer be a growth industry in Ontario. Advocates
are urging all parties in Ontario to commit to a Poverty Reduction Strategy
with the goal of reducing child poverty by 25% in 5 years.
    "It is time for our political leaders to show who really means business
when it comes to tackling hunger, homelessness and little hope for the future.
Anti-poverty plans in Quebec and Newfoundland, featuring realistic targets and
timelines, are leading to falling poverty rates. In Britain, a 25 in 5 plan
has had tremendous results. Ontario's children deserve no less," said Rabbi
Arthur Bielfeld, co-chair of the Campaign Against Child Poverty (CACP).
    In a public message to be distributed at today's "Vote out Poverty" event
at Massey Hall, the CACP points to the fact that almost one in every six
children is growing up in poverty and that 132,000 children rely on food banks
in Ontario every month.
    "A "25 in 5" poverty reduction strategy will ensure that hard-working
families get affordable housing, accessible childcare and education, and a
fair standard of living. They will have the support they need to lead
productive lives and contribute to society," said Caroline Di Giovanni,
co-Chair of the CACP.
    The CACP, a partner in the 25 in 5 Network, is asking all Parties to
commit to measurable poverty reduction targets and timelines developed in
consultation with community groups, low income people and policy experts.

    The Campaign Against Child Poverty is a national, non-partisan coalition
of citizens from faith-groups, social justice groups, charities, child welfare
organizations and others concerned about the unacceptably high levels of child
and family poverty in Canada. www.childpoverty.com

For further information:

For further information: Rabbi Arthur Bielfeld, (416) 543-0168; Caroline
Di Giovanni, (416) 670-4340

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