Social Planning Network Applauds Government Direction ... Urges Action Agenda

    TORONTO, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - The Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO)
applauded the Ontario Government's commitment to make poverty reduction a
priority in today's Speech from the Throne, but urged it to adopt an action
agenda in following up on its election promises.
    "The establishment of a Cabinet Committee of Ministers from a number of
key areas is a good sign of how serious the Government is in addressing this
issue," says Peter Clutterbuck, SPNO Coordinator. "Still, we hope that a
policy decision to set clear targets and timetables for poverty reduction in
the province will not be extended too long into the future. There is clear
evidence from other jurisdictions that a 25% poverty reduction target over
five years and a 50% reduction in ten years is achievable with policy measures
that combine increases in the minimum wage with a fully funded children's
benefit and adequate social assistance rates for those unavailable for work."
    The SPNO released its position on a poverty reduction strategy for
Ontario during the fall and conducted a series of community forums across the
province, which attracted much public interest.
    "Ontarians don't think that is fair for so many children, families and
adults to be left out of our economic prosperity," says Clutterbuck. "The
targets and timetables proposed by SPNO and other community groups across the
province were widely endorsed in our community discussions, and we think
Ontarians will support an action agenda based on a 25% reduction in five years
and 50% reduction in 10 years."

For further information:

For further information: Peter Clutterbuck, SPNO, (416) 653-7947, (416)

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