The province released its fourth progress report on poverty reduction this week. Despite a climate of global economic uncertainty dating back to 2008, the province said 40,000 children and their families have been able to emerge from poverty.
Furthermore, a single parent with a young child, working full-time at minimum wage and accessing all available benefits was living above the poverty line in 2012. The same single parent would have been living below the poverty line in 2003.
Because Statistics Canada data lags by 18 months, the 2012 Annual Report shows progress on income-based indicators for 2009 and 2010 — the first two years of the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Highlights of the Poverty Reduction Strategy 2012 Annual Report, available at http://news.ontario.ca/mcys/en/2012/12/ontarios-poverty-reduction-strategy-2012-annual-report.html, include:
-More than one million children in 530,000 families are being helped by the Ontario Child Benefit.
-Almost 122,000 kids are getting a stronger start in about 1,700 schools through full-day kindergarten.
-Nearly 33,000 children and young people, who may have otherwise gone untreated, are receiving free dental care through Healthy Smiles Ontario.
-An additional 13,000 young people are getting help finding jobs and opportunities through the Youth Action Plan.
-An estimated 20,000 more children and young people are getting faster and easier access to the right mental health supports with 600 new mental health workers in schools, communities and the courts.