25-in-5 Founding Declaration (2007)

We believe in a poverty-free Ontario. A place where everyone can live in dignity and enjoy a good standard of living.

Action on Poverty Reduction.  It starts with a plan.

The Government of Ontario is committed to a Poverty Reduction Strategy with targets and measures to ensure “opportunity that is accessible to all.”
(Throne Speech, November 2007)

We are asking our government for a plan to reduce Ontario poverty levels by 25% in 5 years and by 50% before 2018. We call this the ’25-in-5′ campaign.

Poverty reduction makes social and economic sense. We believe in an inclusive Ontario, where everyone can develop their talents and contribute to thriving communities. We want a province with a vibrant economy and shared prosperity.

Serious action on poverty reduction is possible. The U.K. has reduced poverty by nearly 25% in the past 5 years. Quebec, as well as Newfoundland & Labrador, both have ambitious plans to tackle poverty. It’s Ontario’s turn.

For Ontario, it starts with a plan. A plan that brings hope and shared prosperity for all Ontarians: in urban neighbourhoods; in rural communities; among Aboriginal peoples; within racialized and newcomer communities; among single female parents; and persons with disabilities.

We call on leadership from the Province, working with all orders of government. Working with all sectors and especially with people living on low incomes, we can create opportunities, remove barriers and provide supports so that all Ontarians can live with dignity.

Ontario’s poverty reduction plan should address three priorities:

1. Sustaining employment means assuring a living standard above poverty for any adult who works full time throughout the year. It means fair pay and stable working conditions for all Ontarians.

2. Livable incomes mean dignity for all Ontarians – including those unable to work.

3. Strong and supportive communities mean affordable housing, early learning and child care, public education and community programs that help people connect.

An action plan for our provincial governement

The Ontario government outline its concrete multi-year plan for investing in these 3 priorities:

  1. Sustaining employment. Full time work should lift Ontarians out of poverty. Rights must be protected in the workplace. All Ontarians should have coverage for dental, drug and vision care.

How to get there?The Government of Ontario is committed to a Poverty Reduction Strategy
with targets and measures to ensure “opportunity that is accessible to all.”
(Throne Speech, November 2007)

We are asking our government for a plan to reduce Ontario poverty levels by
25% in 5 years and by 50% before 2018. We call this the ’25-in-5′ campaign.
Poverty reduction makes social and economic sense. We believe in
an inclusive Ontario, where everyone can develop their talents and contribute to
thriving communities. We want a province with a vibrant economy and shared
prosperity.

Serious action on poverty reduction is possible. The U.K. has reduced
poverty by nearly 25% in the past 5 years. Quebec, as well as Newfoundland &
Labrador, both have ambitious plans to tackle poverty. It’s Ontario’s turn.

For Ontario, it starts with a plan. A plan that brings hope and shared
prosperity for all Ontarians: in urban neighbourhoods; in rural communities; among Aboriginal peoples; within racialized and newcomer communities; among single female parents; and persons with disabilities.

We call on leadership from the Province, working with all orders of
government. Working with all sectors and especially with people living on low
incomes, we can create opportunities, remove barriers and provide supports so
that all Ontarians can live with dignity.

Ontario’s poverty reduction plan should address three priorities:

1. Sustaining employment means assuring a living standard above
poverty for any adult who works full time throughout the year. It means
fair pay and stable working conditions for all Ontarians.

2. Livable incomes mean dignity for all Ontarians – including those
unable to work.

3. Strong and supportive communities mean affordable housing, early
learning and child care, public education and community programs that
help people connect.

Sustaining employment Full time work should lift Ontarians out of poverty. Rights must be protected in the workplace. All Ontarians should have coverage for dental, drug and vision care.

How to get there?
• Poverty-proof the minimum wage for full time earners.
• Update and enforce employment standards for all workers.
• Create strong employment and pay equity programs.
• Expand access to dental, drug, and vision coverage.
• Make training and education real, meaningful and easy to access.
• Call on Ottawa to enrich the Working Income Tax Benefit.

2. Livable incomes. All Ontarians deserve good living standards. Parents deserve the resources they need to raise their children in safety and love- free of the fear and stigma of poverty. Our financial institutions and services should help safeguard our living standards, not prey on the most vulnerable.

How to get there?
• Close the gap between life on social assistance and moving out of poverty.
• Make it easier for people with disabilities to get access to the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).
• Enrich the Ontario Child Benefit. Remove rules that claw benefits back from people on social assistance.
• Tighten the regulation of payday lending and other financial services.
• Call on Ottawa to expand coverage of Employment Insurance (EI) and enrich the Canada Child Tax Benefit.

3. Strong and supportive communities. Ontario should be a province of inclusion and opportunity- for all.

How to get there?
• Make housing easier to afford. Build it to suit to people’s needs. Keep it in good repair.
• Make early learning and child care both universal and affordable.
• Build a public education system that focuses on equitable outcomes.
• Fund vibrant community-based programs that connect and enrich us.
• Support public and community transit. Improve access. Make it affordable.

What you can do about poverty reduction

 TALK ABOUT IT. Talk to your friends and family about these priorities and plans. Are there other actions that would help make things better where you are? Contact us with your views
through this website.

SIGN UP for the government’s poverty reduction consultation process. Log on to http://www.25in5.ca and follow the links to tell Minister Matthews that you want to be part of the discussion or write to:

Hon. Deborah Matthews,
Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy/Deputy Premier
Room 4320, 4th Floor, Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1W3

dmatthews.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Make sure to let us know so that we can keep track of the
number of requests. The more people who take part in these consultations, the better!

URGE the government to set the goal of at least 25% reduction in poverty in 5 years and at least 50% reduction by 2018. Share this with Minister Matthews at the address above.

E-mail or send your thoughts to Premier Wynne:

Kathleen Wynne, Premier
Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1

premier@ontario.ca

Or call 416-325-1941

SEND the 25-in-5 declaration to your Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP).

Better yet, get a group in your community to meet with your MPP. Tell your MPP that you support 25-in-5 and that you expect the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy to be comprehensive and bold. Tell them you expect the consultation process to be inclusive and focused on solutions. You can get your MPP’s contact information from http://www.ontla.on.ca.

SPREAD THE WORD Build support in your community for poverty reduction. Talk to your city councillor, Chamber of Commerce, union, faith group, school board, public health department and any other groups you can think of. Hold a meeting in your neighbourhood and pass out the 25-in-5 declaration. Start a poverty reduction working group in your community. And, please tell us how you are using this information to get a discussion going.

GET INVOLVED in poverty reduction activities already underway in your area. Contact us here or find us on http://www.facebook.com to link up.

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