The 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction released a progress report today on the fourth anniversary of Ontario’s poverty reduction strategy. The report highlights how a 2-year minimum wage freeze, falling social assistance rates, cuts to critical supports for people facing homelessness and the freeze in the Ontario Child Benefit are major set-backs to meeting the poverty reduction goal.
The progress report also highlights how the government has not yet fulfilled its commitment to invest an additional $10 million annually for proactive enforcement of employment standards. Workers’ Action Centre launched a campaign earlier this year to secure the balance of the promised employment standards funding. While the government pledged to restore $5.5 million as permanent annual funding, we have only seen $3 million in temporary funding allocated so far.
“Wage theft in this province is rampant and we need all of that $10 million to become permanent in next spring’s budget,” said Deena Ladd, WAC coordinator, in a Toronto Star article published today.
Workers’ Action Centre joins with the 25 in 5 Network to call on the Ontario government to ensure the 2013 provincial budget reflects the governments’ poverty reduction commitments.