At North York Harvest, every day we see people who cannot meet their basic needs. Poverty not only hurts families and individuals, but also costs our province and taxpayers in the long run.
The Government of Ontario has clearly stated their commitment to keeping money in the pockets of the taxpayer, increasing efficiencies, cutting costs and returning Ontario to a balanced budget. While most people see the high costs of healthcare and education, the cost of poverty, one of the largest burdens put on the taxpayers of Ontario, often goes unrecognized.
By making a significant investments in poverty reduction, the Government of Ontario could create a day of prosperity and opportunity for all Ontarians; cutting costs to healthcare, the justice system and more, saving taxpayers billions and lifting thousands out of poverty.
It is not necessary to choose between supporting our most vulnerable citizens and balancing our budget; we can do both.
North York Harvest Food Bank would like to put forward the following recommendations:
- Invest in income security in Ontario by raising social assistance rates to reflect today’s cost of living
- Maintain the current definition of disability as related to ODSP
- Implement a Portable Housing Benefit
- Reinstate funding for the Ontario Trillium Foundation at the 2018 Budget Level