Toronto Groups Urge Candidates to Follow Through on City’s Anti-Poverty Commitments
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Two Toronto coalitions mailed out letters today to over 200 Mayor and Council candidates asking them to support the implementation of City Council commitments on poverty reduction.
“Too many people in Toronto are struggling to make ends meet,” said Adina Lebo, Chair of Commitment TO Community. “Voters want to know which candidates will follow through on City plans to improve access to affordable housing, transit, child care and recreation programs.”
City Council unanimously adopted Toronto’s first poverty reduction strategy in 2015. The strategy aims to ensure that all Toronto residents have access to good jobs, income, housing, transit and other services by 2025.
“It is unfair and unconscionable that so many members of our community lack decent housing, adequate food and affordable child care,” said Tina Conlon, of Davenport-Perth Community Ministry. “We want voters to know which candidates are going to work, if elected, for a more equitable and prosperous city.”
Toronto has the highest level of child poverty among large Canadian cities, and the largest gap in income between rich and poor.
Council-approved poverty reduction commitments for the years 2018-2022 include:
- 7,200 new supportive housing units, 8,000 new affordable rental units and 1,000 new shelter spaces
- A 30% reduction in TTC fares for an additional 157,000 lower-income adults
- 11,500 new child care spaces, including 5,000 subsidized spaces
- 40,000 new community recreation program spaces
Commitment to Community is a coalition of residents, faith communities, non-profit groups and community organizations working to build a better, fairer and more inclusive Toronto through active engagement at City Hall.
Faith in the City is a network of faith leaders from across the religious spectrum in Toronto who are concerned about the wellbeing of our neighbourhoods and our city.
Communications Officer, Social Planning Toronto
416 351 0095 ext. 227
Chair, Commitment TO Community
905 691 3462
Faith in the City
416 654 3726
In 2015, City Council unanimously adopted TO Prosperity, a Poverty Reduction Strategy for our city, but they have consistently not funded this plan.
The strategy includes a commitment to ensuring everyone has access to good jobs, adequate incomes, stable housing, affordable transportation, nutritious food, and supportive services by 2035.
We’re losing ground
We live in a city where more and more residents are feeling the pinch, finding it difficult to pay the bills and access services.
Toronto is still a city where 1 in 4 children live in poverty – this number jumps to 84 per cent for Indigenous children.
For the first time ever, Toronto’s social housing waitlist jumped to over 100,000 households.
Over 189,000 children are waitlisted for sports and recreation programs, and 20,000 children are waiting for subsidized child care spaces.
Indigenous people, people of colour, people with disabilities, vulnerable seniors, women and newcomers face the highest levels of poverty and greatest barriers to success.
We can and must do better.
Toronto residents and nonprofits have consistently pushed Council to fund its own prosperity plan. Despite our collective efforts, the plan has not been funded, with many commitments not even making it into the budget process.
Together, we can do better.
Deepening inequality and worsening poverty affects us all. We all stand to benefit from better services, good jobs, and stronger communities. We need our next City Council to take action in the 2018-2022 term. This election, you have the power to ask questions, demand better, and make change.
We’re asking all the candidates to support full funding of the TOProsperity, Toronto’s poverty reduction strategy. Click here to find out what means.
Your vote can make the Prosperity Platform a reality.
» Find out which candidates have signed on to the Prosperity Platform
» Sign on to our campaign
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